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Spain gets green light to test homegrown COVID vaccine on humans

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Spain’s medicines agency has authorized the first round of clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Spanish company Hipra, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

The early stage clinical trial will recruit dozens of participants from Spanish hospitals to test the drug’s safety and tolerability, as well as its immunogenicity and efficacy, the medicines agency said in a statement.

Hipra, which has manufacturing bases in Spain and Brazil, said it could produce up to 400 million doses in 2022 and 1.2 billion in 2023.

“Spain’s medicines and health products agency has just authorized clinical tests of the Spanish COVID vaccine on humans,” Sanchez told a news conference in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Hipra, a pharmaceutical lab that mainly researches and manufactures veterinary vaccines, has been working on two COVID-19 shots.

One is based on the same RNA messenger technology used in Pfizer and Moderna’s shots, while the second, which has just received approval for trial, uses a recombinant protein like U.S. based drugmaker Novavax.