Cuba’s Soberana vaccine candidate has demonstrated a 62% efficacy rate in a two-dose schedule, BioCubaFarma announced on Saturday. Results are pending for the third dose with the Soberana Plus booster.
“In a few weeks we should have the results for the efficacy with three doses which we expect will be superior,” said Vicente Vérez, director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, which developed the Soberana 2 vaccine.
The Soberana 02 vaccine requires three doses. It is a conjugate vaccine which contains parts of the whole live virus. It does not need refrigeration as do other vaccines. It works by combining a weak antigen with a strong antigen as a carrier so that the immune system has a stronger response to the weaker antigen.
The Finlay Institute said the Soberana 02 now meets the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement of 50% efficacy to be declared as a vaccine. The efficacy of the complete formulation, Soberana 02 with Soberana Plus, will be known soon.
Its use awaits authorization from the regulatory authority, the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED). Cuba has five vaccine candidates in clinical trials. Two of those, the Soberana 2 and Abdala, are in phase III trials.
The Island began vaccination of its population in May as part of an Intervention Study.
Cuba developed its own anti-COVID vaccines. A successful result will continue to build Cuba’s scientific reputation, increase export earnings and strengthen the global vaccination drive. Its biotech investments could pay off with its COVID vaccines.
Iran signed a deal to produce the Soberana 2 vaccine earlier this year. Argentina has signed a letter of intent to manufacture the vaccine. Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela have expressed interest. The agreements all involve the use of the vaccine.
Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel said, “This vaccine, has been achieved amid a complicated situation due to COVID-19, with the circulation of several mutations of the virus, and during an extremely complex financial situation for the country.”
“In a few weeks we should have the results for the efficacy with three doses which we expect will be superior,” said Vicente Vérez, Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, on Sunday.