A day after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte along with other global world leaders promised to "develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world" scientists in Italy have claimed that they have developed the world's first vaccine that can work on humans.
"According to the tests carried out at Rome's infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital, an Italian coronavirus vaccine has antibodies generated in mice that work on human cells," Science Times reported.
The Italian scientists have claimed that their vaccine during the lab tests neutralized the virus in human cells. "A first since the race for a coronavirus vaccine begun in the world," said Luigi Aurisicchio, the CEO of Takis, a firm developing the medication.
Luigi told the Italian news agency ANSA that so far, this is the most advanced stage of testing of a candidate vaccine created in Italy. Human tests are expected to begin in summer, he added.
The Italian researchers at Spallanzani Hospital tested the COVID 19 vaccine on mice and found that after a single dose of the vaccine, the mice developed antibodies that blocked the virus from infecting the human cells.
During the lab tests, the researchers observed that five vaccine candidates generated a large number of antibodies and so out of the five, two with the best results were selected.
"So far, the immunity generated by most of our five vaccine candidates has an effect on the virus. We expect better results after the second vaccination," Dr Emanuele Marra from Takis was quoted in ANSA.
He added that the vaccine candidates could adapt to any COVID-19 evolution and its possible mutations.
Will Italy make vaccines available for free?
The breakthrough, if it is able to pass the final human trials, would prove to be a major step in defeating the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that so far has killed 253,401 people globally. While in Italy close to 30,000 have died of COVID 19.
Global leaders from 40 countries including Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte have pledged more than $8bn to help develop a coronavirus vaccine and fund research into the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
"If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st Century," leaders from 40 countries said in an open letter, reported BBC.
The Italian vaccine claim has come just on the heels of another breakthrough by European Union scientists, who have found a 'fully human' antibody 47D11 that can neutralize the COVID-19 virus and stop it from infecting human cells.
In a joint study, Scientists at the Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center, and Harbour BioMed (HBM) have identified an antibody to a domain that is conserved in both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, explaining its ability to neutralize both viruses.