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Fiocruz International News – June | July 2020

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Fiocruz News

Bimonthly newsletter of the Fiocruz Global Health Center (Cris/Fiocruz)

July / 2020
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) will sign an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the acquisition of batches and transference of technology regarding the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. The agreement will be the result of the cooperation between the Brazilian government and the pharmaceutic company, announced on June 27 by the Ministry of Health.
Led by American economist Jeffrey Sachs, the commission is an interdisciplinary initiative that includes leaders in health sciences, business, finances, and public policies, to formulate recommendations to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic. The first meeting took place on June 23 and the first suggestions by the commission should be presented in September, during the United Nations General Assembly.
With the goal of better understanding the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, researchers of Fiocruz have carried out a wide genetic study involving almost a hundred samples from patients from all Brazilian regions, infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the early moments of the pandemic. In June, researchers have also developed a protocol to sequence the new coronavirus, in a partnership with the University College London.
On May 25, Fiocruz have celebrated its 120th anniversary. The institution was founded to fight epidemics that then threatened Rio de Janeiro. Now, the largest institution of biomedical research in Latin America continues to be in the frontline against diseases.
The international clinical trial HPTN 083 has proven that PrEP containing CAB-LA (long-acting injectable Cabotegravir) used every eight weeks yielded efficacy superior to Truvada in the prevention of infection by the virus. The results were present at the 23rd International Aids Conference (Aids 2020).
Analysis made by Fiocruz researchers have pointed to the presence of the influenza virus A(H1N2)v, which causes infection in pigs. The case was reported to the Ministry of Health, which then notified the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the international health regulation.
In an article published in Frontiers in Immunology, researchers of Fiocruz and of Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) discuss how the new coronavirus can affect mental health, pointing to neural, immunological and endocrinological alterations related to the infection and to social distancing.
The Fiocruz and Convention Secretariat, which serves as the secretariat of both the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding. The document designates Fiocruz as WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub for Articles 17 and 18.
In tests with the new coronavirus, daclastavir prevented the production of infective viral particles in three cell lineages under study, including human lung cells. The study also tested sofosbuvir. Both drugs, as well as atazanavir (that have previously showed good results in vitro), were introduced in clinical trials after the study.
All over the country, 145 projects that focus on vulnerable populations were selected by a public call. The total amount invested will be 4.5 million Brazilian reais (around US$ 900,000) from donations made to Fiocruz.
The Network brings together about 60 researchers, from 10 units of Fiocruz and 15 external institutions, in addition to representatives of civil society. The virtual space gather all the work produced in the last four years by the group.

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Fiocruz International News
Bimonthly report of the Fiocruz Global Health Center (Cris/Fiocruz), edited by the Fiocruz Coordination of Social Communication

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