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Vaccinating the UK against covid-19

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 30 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4654

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Rapid Response:

Candidate Vaccines in Cuba.

Dear Editor

Cuba has four vaccine candidates against Covid-19 in clinical trials, after the authorization of the study phase for Mambisa and Abdala, developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).

According to the information released on social networks, this Thursday the Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices regulatory authority authorized the start of clinical trials of these last two vaccine candidates.

The first of them, named Mambisa (CIGB 669), will be applied nasally; while the last, called Abdala (CIGB 66), will be administered intramuscularly.

The drug CIGB 669 is a subunit vaccine that uses the AgnHB protein as an antigen, with the ability to stimulate the immune response at the mucosal level, the first barrier against a pathogen and in systemic behaviors.

It was named Mambisa in tribute to the women who fought in the independence wars in the second half of the 19th century.

The second of these candidates and the fourth from Cuba uses yeast as a receptor binding domain protein and alumina as an adjuvant.

Named Abdala in homage to the first dramatic poem by the Cuban intellectual José Martí (1869), the study will aim to assess safety in a first stage.

In the second stage, in addition to safety, the immune response capacity in a larger group of volunteers will be evaluated.

Cuba was the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 30th worldwide, to receive authorization to begin clinical trials of a vaccine candidate against Covid-19 called Soberana 01, in August.

At the beginning of November, the WHO included a second Cuban vaccine candidate (Soberana 02) on the official site of projects in phases of clinical trials against the disease.

Both, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute, are on the list of 47 registered candidates worldwide and are moving positively in human clinical trials.

In parallel, the CIGB was working on these other two projects against the pandemic. The investigation should conclude all its stages in January 2021 and be available to the population in February.

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 December 2020
MSc. Ihosvany Castellanos Santos
Associate Professor
Dr. Geuny Alexander Vázquez Bandomo
Francisco Javier Zerquera 15. Trinidad. Cuba.