Argentina poised to distribute hyperimmune serum to combat COVID-19

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez holds a vial containing an equine therapeutic serum to treat patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Inmunova Laboratory, in San Martin, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina January 11, 2021. Picture taken January 11, 2021. Maria Eugenia Cerruti/Argentina Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina successfully passed clinical trials for a hyperimmune serum to combat COVID-19 developed with antibodies from horses, and its distribution will begin over the next few days, the company involved in the studies said on Tuesday.

The serum, to be prescribed at hospitals and other medical facilities, is produced by Argentine biotechnology company Inmunova. “This week it will be ready for distribution,” an Inmunova spokeswoman told Reuters.

The anti-COVID-19 serum has already completed its last phase of clinical studies, she said.

“We are working at the moment with a capacity in the plant of about 60,000 vials per month, that implies between 12 and 15,000 treatments because the treatment is based on the weight of the patient so it varies between 4, 5 or 6 vials per patient” Linus Spatz, director of Inmunova, told media.

“After supplying Argentina, we are in contact with several Latin American countries and we are even thinking about increasing capacity further. We believe that in March we will be at 1,000,000 vials per month,” he added.

According to the latest official data, Argentina has recorded 1,730,921 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44,654 deaths.

Reporting by Walter Bianchi, writing by Hugh Bronstein, editing by Richard Pullin