The USC is working on three vaccines for covid-19 and provides its own technology

The voice of Galicia

joel gmez


Santiago / the voice

14/11/2020 05:00 h

The USC is working on the development of three vaccines for covid-19, two of them based on its own projects. Groups such as the one led by José Manuel Martnez Costa also promote specific technology, which received support from the European Commission and which will be tested in Germany and the Netherlands, according to Toms Pose, a researcher in this group. The basis of this vaccine is protein modification, with a focus on immunotherapy; and their result in tests carried out on animals for other ailments obtained 100% protection, so they are hopeful of also developing a successful immunization for covid-19, for which they use the majority protein in the virus membrane, he explained. Pose.

Another vaccine is the one that Javier Montenegro’s group works with, with a technology similar to that of Pfizer. In three months they hope to have progress on the ongoing experiments. This group, and that of Mara Jos Alonso, also collaborated with that of Mabel Loza. We are at the end, Alonso explained about the vaccine in which he collaborates, in a consortium with the Clinic and the University of Barcelona, ​​among other entities, that trust it to prosper in a month. I relate this achievement to 30 years of experience that allowed it to be an international reference in the development of nanoparticles to transport antigens and genetic material. To achieve the vaccine, which they hope will be a new success, they started with more than 150 prototypes.

For its part, Angel Carracedo explained his work with genetic markers to know the different responses of people to drugs. They work to advance against the covid with 20,000 samples of people, and analyze one million genetic markers of each one, in a large international project that he coordinates and in which the national genotyping centers of Santiago and Madrid participate.

sewage water

Juan Lema and Jess Lpez Romalde detailed projects for the detection of the new coronavirus through wastewater treatment plants. Their results arouse international interest, as they allow predicting how many people may be infected in a short time from the genetic material they detect from the virus. Is a epidemiology based on wastewaterRomalde said. Lema showed disappointment due to the little interest of the Administration with the tool they developed, COVID-USC Alert, despite its good results. Both worked in treatment plants in Galicia, such as the one in Ourense.

All these projects were presented in a forum, where the rector, Antonio Lpez, highlighted 8 initiatives benefited of the Sumo Valor crowdfunding program, promoted by USC for a year. They achieved 100,000 euros from 300 donations; and 212 of the financed works, with a contribution of 63,000 euros, were specific to covid. Since the pandemic began, most of the contributions have been used to seek progress to solve it, said the Vice Chancellor Gumersindo Feijoo. This is the most important challenge today around the world, said councilor Romn Rodrguez.

80% of infections come from 10% of those infected

The studies of a group of two mathematicians and six physicists from USC show how 80% of contagions come from 10% of those infected, explained Jorge Mira, who participates in this work. They are interested in dynamic prediction to anticipate the problems that the pandemic may cause, such as the occupation of ICU beds. His method is analyze data series to estimate or behavioral of people and prevent cases from being triggered. Among its objectives is to perform a useful map of the pandemic, that allows to discriminate the priority to apply the vaccine, among other advances, he said.

Ángel Miramontes highlighted the contributions from Geography to advance against the new disease, through cartographic analysis of the territorial behavior of the coronavirus. They look for a tool for pestemic xestin and that help with decision making from the authorities, for mobility and other issues. To do this, they develop computer instruments that they test in the 7 largest cities and in other areas of Galicia.

Although most of the investigations are of specialists in Pharmacy, Chemistry, Biology or Medicine; the rector, Antonio Lpez, emphasized the transversality with which the pandemic is approached at USC. He also claimed tax aid for basic research, due to its enormous relevance in reaching applications, he emphasized.

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