A delegation of experts from Israel arrived in Argentina to meet with health authorities to discuss the possibilities of producing vaccines in the South American country for the development of the Brilife vaccine and participation in phase 3 clinical trials. The delegation comes from Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, and its director Jorge Diener, accompanied by the Argentinean ambassador to Israel, Sergio Urribi, arrived at Buenos Aires airport.
“We are working on cooperation at different levels, one of them is phase 3 of the Brilife, something that is carried out jointly between Hadassah and the Israeli Institute for Biological Research. We are not yet at the level of agreements with Argentina. We are exploring the possibilities and there are strategic meetings this week to be able to confirm this possibility,” said director Diener. The delegation will meet with the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Pablo Tettamanti, with the first meeting scheduled for Monday 10 May. Among the meetings organized are meetings with the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Roberto Salvarezza, and with the El Cruce hospital. The objective, according to Diener, is “the mass production of Brilife for distribution in Argentina and from here to other countries in the world”.
The delegation stressed that Israel wishes to provide technical collaboration in the management of the pandemic in Argentina, with advisory sessions, through a “joint dialogue with the excellent professionals that Argentina has, both at the level of authorities and in public hospitals. From there we are generating activities”. This potential vaccine production will take time, as the Brilife vaccine is currently in phase 2, having passed all the requirements of ANMAT (National Administration of Medicines, Food and Technology), which must give the go-ahead for the start of phase 3. During phase 3, production must be guaranteed and the assembly of the structure for clinical trials with humans must be in place.
The situation in Argentina is worrying, the Ministry of Health reported 11,582 new cases on Sunday, and so far in the pandemic 3 million people have been infected. In this last epidemiological balance 283 people died, almost 68,000 people have already died from the disease. Intensive care unit beds are at 68% occupancy, which represents 5,294 beds nationwide, and in the Metropolitan Buenos Aires region, 77% of the beds are occupied. Currently the country has 9.1 million people vaccinated, some 7.7 million people have received a single dose, while 1.4 million citizens are already fully vaccinated, the immunisation plan is a little behind the original plan.
“The roadmap starts with meetings with the Argentinean authorities at the highest level. From there it will move to the technical and professional teams where analysis and recommendations will be made so that our team can understand the Argentine situation and, from there, give input and generate new ideas based on the successful experience Israel has had so far,” said Diener. The mission will also visit hospitals, capitation centres, discussion forums to conclude with a plan of recommendations and concrete steps for the development of the vaccine.