- Africa's first Covid-19 vaccine is being developed in the Eastern Cape, according to reports
- An immunotherapy firm called GenLab is collaborating with a Danish company to produce Shantivax
- Shantivax's prototype is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials with human trials expected in the next ten months
A South African based immunotherapy firm has developed Africa's first Covid-19 vaccine - Shantivax. The vaccines were designed and developed by scientists from GenLab based in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
The vaccine prototype was developed in collaboration with a Danish company. Human trials for the Shantivax are expected to begin in the next 10 months, according to the CEO of GenLab Kamsellin Chetty. The vaccine is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials.
Reports say the South African vaccine will elicit both a T-cell and antibody response.
In an interview with the SABC, Chetty said they are a completely self-funded entity, adding that they would not take money from other entities to avoid timelines based restrictions placed on them.
Speaking to IOL, Chetty revealed that the Shantivax vaccine will be able to live inside the lung for a number of years as it continues to provide stimuli for the immune system. This will allow the body to identify and neutralise Covid-19.
In similar news, Briefly.co.za recently reported that a South African company is set to start producing a 'Cryo-Vacc' in the coming days.
Renergen, a South African renewables company, will be producing the Covid-19 vaccine storage unit soon. The storage containers will contain helium to power an ultra-cold freezer. Reports say the company is currently conducting discussions on the sale of the products.
The freezer can reportedly store up to 6 000 doses of the vaccine for up to 30 days. The freezer will transport products in helium (by plane) and liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of -196°C (by road).
The prototype for the 'Cryo-Vacc' was launched on Monday, 15 February. eNCA reported that key concerns regarding the vaccines which are on the way to the country involve the maintenance of temperature during transit. A report by News24 stated that Renergen CEO Stefano Marani said they have already received orders for the Cryo-Vacc and production will start soon.
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