Covid-19: Portuguese companies are creating a new medicine

Photo: Chokniti

Source: aicep Portugal global

Biocant Park of Cantanhede are developing biotechnological projects to respond to the covid-19 pandemic. Several companies in the Biocant Park of Cantanhede, in the district of Coimbra, are developing biotechnological projects to respond to the covid-19 pandemic, including a stem cell-based medicine.

According to a statement from that technology park, the company Crioestaminal, a leading laboratory in stem cells in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe, developed an experimental medicine based on stem cells from expanded umbilical cord tissue to treat critically ill patients with covid-19.

The experimental drug, already available for hospital use, was developed at the company’s recent cell therapy drug production unit, at an investment of around 1 million Euros, the note said.

The development of a vaccine for the new coronavirus SARS-COV-2, responsible for the disease of covid-19, is another of the ongoing projects in the Biocant Park of Cantanhede, by the hand of the company Immunethep.

According to the executive director Bruno Santos, the company is motivated “by the development of a national solution that allows vaccinating and protecting the people as soon as possible”.

Immunethep used its experience in the field of immunotherapy to carry out the development of this vaccine, administered by inhalation, and which is now undergoing animal testing, in partnership with the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health, from Porto.

The Microbiology Laboratory, the unit specialized in microbiology of Biocant – Technology Transfer Association, in partnership with the company Biocant R&D, developed an innovative and unique methodology in Portugal, called ArCovid19, which allows the detection of the presence of SARS-CoV- 2 in air samples.

According to Joana Branco, executive director of the Biocant Association, this methodology “may be relevant in critical environments such as Intensive Care Units, Continuing Care, Nursing Homes and various hospital services, in order to detect the presence of the virus early and thus prevent new transmission chains”.

The consortium foresees that, in a second moment, it will be possible to apply the technology developed in other spaces, such as public transport or shopping centers, spaces where the crowding of people and the possibility of spreading SARS-CoV-2 is higher.

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