Developing a Portuguese vaccine against COVID-19 would cost around 45 million euros, plus an additional 100 million euros to be invested in infrastructure to move into the production phase, according to a biochemist at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health, local newspaper Publico reported.
“We would need around 45 million euros to have a vaccine that passes clinical trials and is approved. For a phase of mass production, we need dedicated infrastructures,” said researcher Teresa Summavielle, in a debate organised by Left Bloc MPs, according to Publico.
The scientist said the initial phase of development of the drug against COVID-19 would entail an investment of between 500,000 euros and one million euros, adding that Portugal had “absolute capacity” to develop this research.
Following this initial phase, the transition to pre-clinical trials would represent an investment ranging between 3 and 5 million, while effective clinical trials would be between 30 and 40 million euros, Summavielle said.
“Here we get into a problem that is Portuguese, but that is also found in many other countries in Southern Europe and beyond. We do not have the capacity to move on to this production,” the researcher pointed out.
According to Summavielle, the investment value for Portugal to have an infrastructure capable of producing 50 million doses of the vaccine per year is estimated at around 100 million euros, and it would take two years for it to become operational.
“It is a value that is not entirely out of our investment capacity and we should be seriously considering making this type of investment,” she highlighted. Such an investment would provide the country with the necessary response capacity for future situations, according to the researcher.
Over 16,650 have people died in Portugal due to the COVID-19, from 813,152 confirmed cases of infection, according to the Directorate-General for Health’s latest figures.