The Colombian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, have signed a memorandum of understanding that would allow the U.S biotech company INOVIO to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The memorandum follows a decision by the nation’s Food and Drug Institute INVIMA to allow Phase 3 efficacy trials of INOVIO’s DNA INO-4800 vaccine. “INOVIO’s memorandum of understanding is a sign of a shared commitment to develop and advance potentially life-saving DNA medicines and vaccines to those in need,” stated the company’s CEO and President Joseph Kim during visit to Bogotá. “INOVIO’s DNA medicines address current and future global health threats due to the anticipated stability of its product, speed of design and manufacture, as well immune response and tolerability observed in clinical trials,” he added.
Brazil, the Philippines and Mexico have started Phase 3 trails with INOVIO’s vaccine candidate. Health Minister Fernando Ruiz celebrated the letter of memorandum stating that the country “has a complete circle of what is possible with a North American company for the production of vaccines,” as well as “possibility of moving forward quickly due to INOVIO considering Colombia as a priority country.”
The decision by health authorities to establish regulatory frameworks for producing COVID-19 vaccines accompanies a significant deceleration in daily cases of contagion. On Wednesday, Colombia dropped below 12,000 active cases of the virus, despite registering an additional1,224 new infections, putting the nation’s total at 4,984.751. Daily deaths are averaging close to 20, and also a sharp drop since the peak of the third wave in July when per-day deaths averaged 100 or above. Having administered more than 45 million COVID-19 doses, almost 20 million Colombians have completed full vaccinations schemes, either with the single dose Janssen or double doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Sinovac, representing 40% of the 50.1 million population.