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Spain seeks 190 volunteers to test experimental vaccine against coronavirus in new trial 

The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products has authorised the first clinical trial in Spain of an experimental vaccine against coronavirus.

Minister of Health, Salvador Illa announced
the new move at a press conference this morning. 

It will be a test of the vaccine of the
Janssen company, owned by the American multinational Johnson & Johnson,
with 190 healthy volunteers, to which another 400 will be added in Germany and
Belgium. 

The Madrid hospitals of La Paz and La Princesa
and the Santander Marqués de Valdecilla will participate in the clinical trial.
The recruitment of volunteers will begin “immediately” said Mr. Illa.

In Spain, the scientific community is working
on a dozen different experimental vaccines against covid but none of these
projects have yet started clinical trials in humans. The two most advanced
initiatives are those led by the virologist Mariano Esteban, at the National
Biotechnology Center, in Madrid, and by Felipe García, from the Hospital Clínic
de Barcelona. 

In the world, there are already 173 different
experimental vaccines against the new coronavirus and 31 of them are already
being tested in humans, according to the registry of the World Health
Organisation. The European Commission has announced preliminary talks or agreements
with five developers of experimental vaccines: Britain’s AstraZeneca,
associated with the University of Oxford, Germany’s Curevac, the American
Johnson & Johnson, the American company Moderna and the alliance formed by
the French Sanofi and the British GSK.

The 190 volunteers will need to be healthy
people, between 18 and 55 years old, as well as those over 65 years old. The
first results of the tests will take months to arrive.

“When phase two of a clinical trial is
reached, it means that we have already come from an animal study where it has
been shown that the vaccine does not produce toxicity or adverse
reactions,” Mr. Illa stressed during the announcement. 

The first tests of this vaccine, carried out
in the United States, have shown good results. 

“The objective of these phases is to
calibrate the doses necessary to generate immunity,” the minister added.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the first
to be tested in Spain but he stressd: “We are in contact with multiple
researchers and companies so that, if possible, carry out other clinical trials
in Spai.”