Coronavirus, Reithera at work on vaccine: moving toward clinical trials
To permanently knock out Sars-CoV-2, there’s need for a vaccine. Many companies around the world are working on this. Some companies in Lazio are also participating in this great challenge. These include ReiThera in Castel Romano, which in recent days also received a visit from the minister of health, Roberto Speranza.
To understand the status of this Covid-19 vaccine candidate trial, the Dire news agency interviewed Antonella Folgori, ad of Reithera, which is working on the Coronavirus vaccine candidate.
Where does your company stand in the Coronavirus vaccine candidate trial?
“We have completed in our pharmaceutical workshop at the Castel Romano site the production of the clinical batch of the vaccine, which is’ready for clinical trials and is now being evaluated by the Iss, which has to give approval for the clinical trial. This is because’the trial is’on healthy volunteer patients, so the main objective is’safety. Having had the positive opinion from the’Iss, which we hope will come, we should start with the clinical trial that we will initiate in collaboration with the’Lazzaro Spallanzani Infectious Diseases Institute.
The study will involve the’enrollment of two different age groups’to assess the immune response, which must be of a certain type for the vaccine candidate to be able to fight the Coronavirus. If this trial is then successful, we will continue with subsequent phase II and III clinical trials, in which we will expand the number of healthy volunteers to confirm safety and then also demonstrate the efficacy of this vaccine.
As everyone knows, the challenges posed are many, because from time zero we also had to deal with the problem of subsequent large-scale production, and so we are already working, within our own workshop, to expand our production capacity, and we are also interacting with other companies at the European level to exploit technologies and improve production. Another aspect is then that related to the formulation of the vaccine, that is, the solution in which the vaccine is dissolved: it’s important that this be stored at a temperature of 4 degrees and not frozen, as is the case now in freezers because’this will ensure its much faster distribution. On all this and’ to our our our team, young and with a strong female presence in important positions”.
This is something that is very pleasing, also because’women sitting around the scientific-technical tables have not been many in this period. Now I ask her how as a scientist she sees the decision, if it passes, by the government to extend the national state of emergency?
“A final decision has not yet been made partly because’the state of emergency represents a situation that is really
exceptional. I believe that the situation should be progressively monitored and the pros and cons should be considered from time to time
of these decisions. I think prolonging the state of emergency for a while longer will allow us to take quick measures in case
Of new outbreaks. We must try though’consistent with the situation, to return to normal’”.
How important is it, in light of this pandemic, to invest in research and the SSN in order to be prepared for eventualities like this one that has engulfed the whole world?
“In the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 internationally, technologies have been used absolutely
innovative, never-before-used vaccine development that allows for rapid production from the moment it is
This means that we need to invest in new projects and technologies and make room for’innovation and
research so that we are prepared, in a timely manner, to respond to situations such as this one. I believe that in the future we will be exposed more and more’to situations like these. In this specific case the virus has’passed from the animal world to humans, this will not be a unique case, so there will be other infections that will emerge quickly.
Investing today in research, innovation and Italian excellence will be the’only way to be prepared and respond promptly in the future”.