Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2020. 2:16 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Might the desperately-needed cure for COVID-19 which originated in the Old World, come from the New?
The race continues to find a suitable vaccine against the disease which has claimed thousands of lives and is projected to claim many more. However, it has been projected that it will take up to a year for a trial vaccine to be approved and mass distributed.
In Havana, Cuba, according to CMC News via the Jamaica Observer, a clinical trial is now being held for the drug CIGB 2020, named for the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biology headed by Director of Research Dr Gerardo Guillen.
Guillen told Cuban media that trials are taking place at the Luis Diaz hospital in Havana with volunteer patients suspected of being carriers of the disease. The drug is nasally and sublingually administered (that is, through the nose and under the tongue) and “encouraging results have already been observed regarding the activation of the innate immune system.”
Dr. Guillen says this and another Cuban-made vaccine developed by Finlay Institute are hopefully breakthroughs in the development of specific vaccines to stimulate innate immunity.
“Our researchers have been able to make lab technologies available to this research in record time and after these first results we will continue with the trials and analyze the results,” Guillen said.
Similar vaccines are being developed in the United States (for example at the University of Pittsburgh) and in Europe and Asia.
As of Tuesday, 766 positive COVID-19 cases were reported across Cuba, with 21 dead and 599 stable.
Cuba has sent medical brigades around the world, including Belize, to help fight the virus.
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