written in August 31, 2023
The ARVAC vaccine Cecilia Grierson was born in a laboratory at the National University of San Martin (UNSAM), led by researcher Juliana Cassataro, first in collaboration with CONICET and later with the Pablo Cassará Foundation and the Cassará Laboratory. Currently, the last clinical trial of the first 100% Argentinian vaccine has concluded, consisting of 2,014 volunteers, proving that the vaccine is safe and effective as a booster against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The vaccine is the first project proposed by the National Agency for the Promotion of Research, Technological Development and Innovation (R+D+i Agency) within the framework of the Coronavirus Department integrated with the Ministry of Science and Technology. As well as INNOVATION and CONICET. During the first call, the R+D+i agency approved P60 million in support to complete the preclinical phase of the corresponding safety and immunocompetence trials. For Phase 2/3, the R+D+i agency allocated 1.1 billion pesos to conduct the clinical studies required for the vaccine’s final approval.
The research and development process has resulted in the establishment of a network of more than 600 scientists and professionals and more than 20 public and private institutions. Today we must add the more than 2,000 volunteers who participated in the trial.
Safety of Argentina’s first vaccine against COVID-19
In the first phase, the vaccine was tested on 80 people. Phase 2/3 has two phases. First, 232 people were vaccinated at two centers (CEMIC and Clinical Pharma) in the city of Buenos Aires (CABA). This phase starts in January 2023. Now begins the second phase, where the ARVAC formula will be applied to 1,782 volunteers at 10 centers spread across four Argentine provinces and the city of Buenos Aires.
If this clinical trial is successful and will receive final regulatory approval, ARVAC CG can be used as a booster vaccine in Argentina, which marks a new milestone in technology for the country and the region.
About ARVAC – Cecilia Grierson Vaccine
It is based on recombinant proteins, a safe technology that has been used for more than 20 years in hepatitis B vaccines or more recently HPV vaccines. This technology has proven to be very safe and reliable and allows the development of vaccines stored between 2 and 8°C (refrigerator temperature). These properties could make doses of ARVAC Cecilia Grierson cheaper, easier to manufacture and distribute, unlike the first vaccines against COVID-19.