(Adds details about trials and Russian vaccine)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Mexico is due to take part in clinical trials of an Italian vaccine being developed against the coronavirus, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday.
Ebrard did not say when Mexico would begin the trials of the GRAd-COV2 vaccine being carried out by the National Institute for Infectious Diseases ‘Lazzaro Spallanzani’ in Rome.
“Yesterday they told us,” Ebrard told a news conference. “We are very grateful to Italy.”
The Lazzaro Spallanzani institute this week announced it would conduct trials on 90 volunteers over the coming weeks, with the hope a vaccine may be available by spring of next year.
It is not clear if Mexico will take part in phase 2 or the later, and bigger, phase 3 trials of the Italian vaccine being developed by ReiThera, a company based in Rome.
Ebrard said Mexico has signed an agreement for 2,000 volunteers to take place part in trials of Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine.
Latin America has become a key location for global vaccine trials, with the wide spread of the virus in the community allowing developers to test the efficiency of their vaccines.
Mexico is also preparing to carry out late-stage trials for France’s Sanofi, U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and two Chinese companies. (Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)
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