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The first anti-coronavirus vaccine produced in Italy Rete 4 – Stasera Italia – 29th March

”ENGLISH

PIERO DI LORENZO:

Together with the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, we have perfected a vaccine against Covid-19 and the first batch went into production 10 days ago.

REPORTER:

Piero Di Lorenzo, Director and President of IRBM, is feeling confident: within a few weeks it will be possible to try out the first anti-coronavirus vaccine produced in Italy; but this won’t be the first time the finish line has been reached in the war against viruses, because 5 years ago, the team of researchers working in Pomezia reached another one.

PIERO DI LORENZO

In 2015 we perfected and produced a million doses of the vaccine against Ebola: it was a wonderful, thrilling experience.

REPORTER:

And while Coronavirus continues to claim victims around the world, in this laboratory, researchers of different nationalities are doing their utmost to find a solution.

EMANUELE MINUTELLO:

During these days of emergency, the laboratory has become our home. Given the current situation, we are working in the laboratory with maximum commitment and quality, even for 11 hours at a time, in order to guarantee maximum productivity in the shortest possible time.

REPORTER:

The security system here is stringent: in fact you can’t enter this part of the laboratory you can see here unless you’re wearing several layers of sterile overalls.

PIERO DI LORENZO:

The timescale is set….By May we will be ready to start using it on mice, and by the end of June we’ll be ready to test it on humans.

REPORTER:

The timescales for being able to use the vaccine vary; after human testing we will still have to await the decision of the scientific community before being able to supply it on a large scale.

PIERO DI LORENZO:

We are optimistic because this vaccine that we are producing is a synthesis of two important strands of expertise; that of the Jenner Institute, which has already developed the anti-MERS vaccine, and our own, as the people who tested the anti-Ebola vaccine.

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