Halal Industry

Egyptian biotechnology company to produce local COVID-19 vaccine

Published 04 Jan,2021 via Daily News Egypt - Egyptian private sector biotechnology company, Vaccine Valley, is on the way to producing the country’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The move comes as Egypt looks to be part of the international effort to produce a vaccine against the virus, through the scientific work of the National Research Center (NRC) in cooperation with Vaccine Valley.

Faried Al-Sayed, Quality Assurance Manager at the company, told Daily News Egypt that the potential vaccine will be called “COVID-Vac1”, and will be available for consumption by April or May.

The company has worked in cooperation with the NRC to transfer the centre’s technologies to Vaccine Valley’s factories, in cooperation with the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA).

The EDA had some requirements regarding the factory’s location, infrastructure, the equipment, and its capabilities and scientific teams. According to Al-Sayed, Vaccine Valley has fulfilled the authority’s requirements.

He said that the company and the EDA agreed to produce 5,000 vaccine doses in the first phase of clinical studies. After its efficacy was proven during clinical studies, the vaccine should be approved.

“What is distinctive about the Egyptian vaccine is that the strain of the virus was isolated from an Egyptian strain, purified, and placed in a gene-bank,” Al-Sayed noted, adding that the COVID-Vac1 vaccine showed effectiveness of above 90%.

He further noted that, as part of the safety precautions taken by the research team behind the vaccine, some of the team members were vaccinated during pre-clinical studies with COVID-19 Vac1. They did not experience any side effects from the vaccine.

Moreover, Dr Ahmed Al-Senoussi, Professor of Virology at Cairo University, said that COVID-19 Vac1 will be safe and effective because it stimulates the immune system in the human body.

He added that the EDA is following up on the vaccine requirements, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“It will be the first Egyptian vaccine, and will be trialled on animals before clinical trials on humans take place,” Al-Senoussi said.

He explained that the strain of the virus was taken from an Egyptian woman from Minya who had been infected with COVID-19.

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