GELENDZHIK, October 5. /TASS/. The Russian biopharmaceutical company Nanolek will start clinical trials of a combined COVID-19/influenza vaccine in a year and a half, Maxim Stetsyuk, the company’s deputy general director and head of its vaccine division, told TASS.
"I think this (the start of preclinical trials - TASS) will happen not earlier than in a year. Preclinical trials can usually be completed in six months. We expect clinical trials to begin in about a year and a half," he said speaking on the sidelines of the Biotechmed forum.
According to the company’s press service, the vaccine is being developed by specialists of the Nanolek research and development center in Pushchino near Moscow, which opened in September 2021.
"The combined vaccine will reduce the cumulative risks of simultaneous epidemics of influenza and COVID-19," the company believes.
The company’s experts explained that the clinical and epidemiological features of COVID-19 are very similar to influenza, so it is important to provide optimal treatment for both respiratory diseases.
"Since both infections lead to their most severe manifestations in the elderly and people with a weakened immune system, the possibility of coinfection with increased severity is obvious. In the foreseeable future, simultaneous circulation of SARS-CoV-2 viruses and influenza can be expected, and additional waves of COVID-19 will coincide at least partly with the circulation of seasonal flu," the company said.
Nanolek added that the proteins containing in the new vaccine will only have minor side effects due to the high degree of purification. On September 17, the president of the company Vladimir Khristenko told reporters that Nanolek is studying the possibility of producing a combined vaccine against coronavirus and influenza.
About the company
Nanolek is a Russian biopharmaceutical company with its own full-cycle production according to GMP standards. It specializes in the production of import-substituting and innovative medicines, both of its own design and those developed in cooperation with international partners. The company’s production is located in the Kirov region.