In a statement sent to Portuguese news agency Lusa, the company based in Cantanhede, in the district of Coimbra, said that the non-clinical trials used transgenic k18-hACE2 mice as an animal model, which when infected with the coronavirus, develop a similar disease to humans.
Quoted in the document, Immunethep’s co-founder and scientific director states that “through these non-clinical trials and the 100 percent survival rate observed, it was possible to confirm the vaccine’s efficacy in lethal SARS-CoV-2 infections”.
The Portuguese biotech based in Cantanhede, Portugal, had been conducting pre-clinical trials of its SIlba (SARS-CoV-2 Inactivated for Lung B and T cell Activation) vaccine for several months.
“After infection with a lethal inoculum of the virus we found that, compared to control mice (which did not survive), the vaccinated animals had a 100 percent survival rate vaccinated with the SIlba vaccine, observable as early as the first week after infection, moreover, they did not demonstrate any adverse effects after vaccination,” the note reads.
Since its foundation in 2014, Immunethep has been dedicated to the development of immunotherapies, mainly against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, and currently has 10 collaborators.
“The completion of this project in Portugal allows the development of unique skills on a global scale in the development of vaccines and other biological products,” concludes Immunethep’s co-founder and CEO, Bruno Santos.
Santos also underlines that the fast support from governmental entities “is essential for us to continue the clinical trials of the vaccine, in time to contribute to the resolution of the Covid-19 pandemic”.