SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Jan 28 (ACN) The anti-COVID-19 vaccine candidate CIGB 66, known as Abdala, is advancing to the second phase of the clinical trial, scheduled to begin on February 1 at the Saturnino Lora provincial hospital in Santiago de Cuba.
Rafael Suarez, director of the hospital institution, said exclusively to the Cuban News Agency that the new stage of the study has approximately 800 volunteers, coming from work and student centers of the capital municipality, in order to guarantee better control and permanence in the research.
The doctor pointed out the extension of the age range of the participants, between 19 and 80 years old, who can be healthy or with compensated pathologies.
The next phase will begin after approval by the Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed) and independent provincial and national neutral observers, as they do not belong to the Saturnino Lora nor to the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the entity which created Abdala, he specified.
He also pointed out the meticulous follow-up of the volunteers of both stages, and highlighted the spirit of the researchers to continue the work with the same zeal, ethics and professionalism shown so far, in order to contribute to the search for a cure for the pandemic that is ravaging the planet.
With few adverse reactions in the 132 participants in the first test cycle and an adequate safety profile, CIGB 66, which is applied intramuscularly, exhibits a positive immunological response, although investigations continue.
Abdala, from CIGB, together with Soberana 01 and 02, from the Finlay Vaccine Institute, become three of the four vaccine candidates against COVID-19 of national production that progress to the second stage of clinical trials, a reliable demonstration of Cuba's scientific potential, in spite of the limitations imposed by the U.S. blockade.