The announcement came after Colombian and Canadian research companies reached a partnership agreement.
In a press release, Duque said, “Providence Therapeutics hopes to have, from February, clinical tests of the development of its vaccines against different variants of COVID-19.”
The president said this would allow Colombia to supply vaccines for itself and, possibly, Latin America.
A plant for manufacturing vaccines is being built in the town of Rionegro, which is near Medellin in Antioquia department.
While researchers have been studying the possible medical applications of mRNA, especially in the area of vaccines, since the 1970s, approval for commercial production only began during the CCP virus pandemic.
At present, both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use mRNA technology in their CCP virus vaccines.
The CCP virus is the pathogen known to cause the disease COVID-19.
Since January of last year, the CCP virus has killed 129,399 people in Colombia, according to World Health Organization data.
Bradley Thomas, president and CEO of Providence Therapeutics, said, “We are very grateful to receive the support of Colombia’s great scientists and research talent, which will allow us to move forward in testing new and better vaccines against COVID-19 and other diseases.”
On its website, the Colombian group Vax Thera says “we are here to save lives” and tout a wide range of vaccines they aim to develop from their partnership with Providence.
At the top of the production list is a universal CCP virus vaccine, and ones for the regional diseases Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, Influenza, and Zika. The latter are diseases prevalent in subtropical regions of the Americas.
Additionally, Chikungunya’s rate of deaths is almost 12 percent.
Both diseases have considerably higher death rates attributed to them than mortality rates for the CCP virus.
However, from a profitability standpoint, CCP virus vaccines are big money for pharmaceutical companies.
In the first half of this year, Pfizer and Moderna reported collective sales of $17.2 billion for CCP virus vaccines.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine netted over $500 million in third quarter sales reported in November, which is nearly double what it collected in the first half of the year.
Analysts are predicting an additional $21 billion in revenue for Pfizer and Moderna in the fourth quarter of this year.
Vax Thera said the partnership with Providence “represents a critical step towards the purpose of guaranteeing health independence for Colombia and Latin America.”