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Spain in world top three for Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials
06 June 2020 @ 22:18

SPAIN has become one of the key nations on earth in conducting clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine, with the third-highest number of patients participating in an advanced stage of the research.

Worldwide, a total of 556 clinical trials are taking place – where vaccines developed in laboratories and found to be successful when tested on animals, usually rats and mice, move onto the next stage and are tested on humans – with, at present, 300,099 volunteers having been administered with what is hoped will be a drug that prevents the condition.

In Spain, 76 clinical trials are under way, and scientists have recruited 25,227 volunteers.

This represents about 8.5% of the international total, and makes the country second in the world for the number of trials taking place.

The USA has 97 trials already started, involving 71,710 patients; the UK has the world's highest number of patients participating, at 86,702, but only around 40% as many trials as Spain, with 32 overall.

Figures have been released by the Spanish pharmaceutical company Farmaindustria.

The USA's research is led by experts from the Cochrane Library, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) is using as its source of statistics.

And these 556 trials are not the end of the story: Another 423 are expected to start soon, their research leaders' having applied for or already obtained official approval and, in the case of the latter, now getting organised and arranging the logistics and technicalities of their projects.

They will see another 222,105 patients taking part, of whom 4,196 will be in Spain as part of 16 trials – a total of 92 trials and 29,423 patients nationwide.

But now, Spain is likely to have to search harder for volunteers, probably in other continents – although that's good news, says Farmaindustria's head of new medications, Amelia Martín Uranga.

“Many of the clinical trials in operation targeted patients who were in a serious, or critical, condition – and, fortunately, that's exactly the type of patient we currently have the fewest of,” she explains.

Pharmaceutical companies are now likely to find it easier to recruit volunteers in Brazil, Russia or the USA, which are still in the full grip of the pandemic, Dr Uranga says.

Spain's health minister Salvador Illa highlighted the country's major rôle in developing a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and thanked the pharmaceutical industry for their 'significant donations' of medications to help support national researchers.



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