Iran hopes to start testing mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine by mid-Sept.

July 21, 2021 - 11:6

TEHRAN – A team of Iranian experts is working on an mRNA coronavirus vaccine that is being developed based on nanoliposome technology, hoping to start its clinical trial phase by mid-September.

“At present, a highly specialized team of experts is working on a vaccine, similar to the U.S. Pfizer vaccine, being developed based on nanoliposome technology,” Saeed Sarkar, the head of Iran Nanotechnology Innovation Council, said on Tuesday.

It is hoped that the first phase of the clinical trial will be started by the end of summer so that Iran is listed among the countries which have acquired the advanced technology, IRNA quoted Sarkar as saying.

Hossein Vatanpour, an official with the Ministry of Health, said in December last year that an Iranian knowledge-based company was trying to develop an oral vaccine to fight COVID-19.

A vaccine made from an inactivated virus causes the body to produce antibodies when facing the virus, he noted, adding, there are other platforms for vaccine development, including using mRNA, DNA, or protein-based subunit vaccines.

In the subunit protein platform, a protein fragment of the virus that can stimulate the immune system is used instead of the whole virus. The DNA-based vaccine platform has received less attention. Among the vaccine platforms, mRNA, subunit protein, and finally inactivated virus vaccine, respectively, are more efficient, he explained.

"Currently, some 16 Iranian knowledge-based companies are working on all types of vaccine platforms. One company is active in producing DNA-based vaccines, and about three others are working to make mRNA-based vaccines."

Two other companies are planning to make subunit vaccines, and seven companies are trying to make a vaccine based on the attenuated virus, while only one company is working on producing an oral vaccine, Vatanpour added.

MG
 

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