Paula Alves, CEO of iBET, participated in the program “Assim fala a Ciência” supported by Fundação Manuel Francisco dos Santos. In this series David Marçal interviews key specialists of different areas to learn more about coronavirus.
Here, Paula Alves talks about the vaccine development processes and about the role of iBET in the Serology4Covid consortium, an initiative that aims to create a serological test for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Selected interview quotes:
- “We are always optimistic. We believe that we will find something – a cure, a vaccine – that will help us overcome COVID-19”
- “Since March, at iBET, we shifted the efforts of the work we were doing to dedicate more to coronavirus research”
- “Higher number of vaccine candidates, increase the chances of success. We may need more than one vaccine. A vaccine may work well for young people, but it may not work for older people”
- “We need a continuous line of investment in three vectors: vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics”
- “In my opinion, coronavirus vaccines will not be ready in less than 18 or 20 months. (…) Clinical trials have to be carried out and safety must be guaranteed”
- “We still don’t know enough about the virus and the immune system to assure that we can get a vaccine. But we are confident and we are optimistic”
- “Here at iBET, in these bioreactors, we are producing the viral protein that will be immobilized in assay plates [to screen for anto-SARS-Cov-2 Antibodies] by other institutions from the Serology4Covid consortium”
- “We still don’t know if a person with antibodies is immune to coronavirus. It is a little dangerous to talk about an immunity passport“
- “We need very clear communication (…). Of course we can learn to live with the virus but we still have to be very careful – we don’t know everything about the virus”