Ferrovial helps fund development of the first low-cost COVID-19 vaccine by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Ferrovial´s social commitment prompted the launch of the Ferrovial Together COVID-19 Fund in 2020 that contributed to research projects in England, Spain and the United States. The fruits of the efforts made by the company and its employees continue to be reaped. One of the COVID-19 vaccine research projects that was funded, at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas, has been successfully completed, resulting in a low-cost vaccine that can be produced locally.
The CORBEVAX vaccine, developed by BCM’s own researchers at the National School of Tropical Medicine, has recently been approved for emergency use in India. World-renowned vaccine and infectious disease experts Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine (NSTM), and Maria Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D., associate dean of NSTM, have made significant progress in developing an accessible, low-cost COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Baylor College of Medicine is fighting the global outbreak with a dual mission: to create and launch trials of new, low-cost, effective vaccines and to build vaccine production capacity locally and with foreign countries. For many of the world’s vulnerable populations reside in countries that often lack the funds and infrastructure systems critical to procuring more expensive vaccines.
“Thanks to Ferrovial's support, this vaccine will change the world's ability to access a low-cost Covid-19 vaccine.”
This work has required investment in state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and this is where Ferrovial’s contribution has been indispensable. Dr. Hotez and Dr. Bottazzi and their team at NSTM, with Ferrovial’s support, were able to reconfigure the findings of their earlier SARS vaccine development efforts and accelerate a new recombinant protein vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19. Such protein vaccines remain a proven, safe, affordable, and equitable solution that can be produced and used worldwide. Ferrovial’s funding enabled the purchase of advanced laboratory equipment (densitometer, centrifuge machine and cell analyzer), which improved protein analysis and increased the sample processing capacity of the university’s laboratories.
With these resources, the SARS-2 vaccine candidate passed preclinical studies, demonstrated production feasibility, and thus became the first low-cost vaccine against COVID-19.
The intellectual property of this vaccine will be available to everyone. With this contribution, Ferrovial contributes to the world’s ability to defend against future viral outbreaks.
As part of the Ferrovial Together Covid-19 Fund, Ferrovial donated half a million euros to the University of Oxford, 250,000 euros to two vaccine projects at the National Biotechnology Centre, part of the Spanish National Research Council, and 150,000 euros to BCM.