AS SCIENTISTS and pharmaceutical firms in wealthy international locations all over the world are racing for the event and software of vaccine in opposition to the killer coronavirus illness (Covid-19), a Filipino Dominican priest-microbiologist based mostly in the USA has additionally determined to make a vaccine that shall be inexpensive and accessible to different center to low revenue international locations, together with the Philippines.
“I considered creating this vaccine after I realized that lots of the out there vaccines being manufactured in the present day have already been promised to resource-rich international locations,” stated Father Nicanor Austriaco, chief researcher at Austriaco Laboratory.
Austriaco, who’s affiliate professor of biology and theology at Windfall School in Windfall, Rhode Island, USA, stated his proposal is to create an oral Covid-19 vaccine utilizing a probiotic yeast.
“It’s a loopy concept nevertheless it must be examined within the small likelihood that it could work. I made a decision to do that for the well-being of the Filipino folks,” Austriaco instructed Sunstar Philippines in an interview.
He stated his mission, dubbed “Venture Pag-asa (Hope),” is in its “early phases of improvement.”
Austriaco, who’s a twin citizen, maintained that the earliest phases of his mission “will not be costly.”
“It’s nonetheless in its preclinical stage of improvement and it must be examined in animal fashions earlier than we are able to even discuss human volunteers,” stated the Dominican microbiologist.
Based on the priest-scientist, a yeast-based system wouldn’t want refrigeration nor injections nor healthcare staff.
“For now, I’ve enough funding to finish the required experiments to make the yeast vaccine supply system and to do animal testing,” Austriaco stated.
“There isn’t any want for me to strategy any authorities businesses right now as a result of that is nonetheless a lab-based mission. I might solely have to hunt authorities approval if the vaccine supply system works in animals. We is not going to know this for a lot of months,” he added.
In a report from Catholic information web site Licas.information, Austriaco stated he and his colleagues shall be doing the experiments in his laboratory in the USA.
The animal testing shall be accomplished in a laboratory on the College of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Manila.
“We are going to do it as rapidly as potential with out sacrificing the rigor and excellence that science calls for,” stated Austriaco, who’s at the moment on sabbatical as a visiting professor of organic sciences at UST.
Austriaco shall be within the nation till August 2021.
The Philippines, which recorded its first Covid-19 case on January 30, 2020, already recorded a complete of 449,400 Covid-19 infections, with 8,733 complete deaths, as of Sunday, December 13.
The Philippine authorities is eyeing to inoculate about 50 to 60 % of the nation’s estimated 110 million inhabitants beginning mid-2021 to attain herd immunity from the coronavirus.
Vaccine firms to be evaluated within the nation embrace Sinovac, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer-BioNTech, amongst others.
Many of the vaccines from the stated firms reportedly require ultra-cold storage amenities.
Topnotch Dominican priest-microbiologist
Austriaco completed his bachelor’s diploma, summa cum laude, in bioengineering on the College of Pennsylvania, USA.
He later obtained his doctorate in biology from the famend Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, the place he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
In 1997, a deeper conversion with the Lord led him to affix the Order of Friars Preachers, popularly referred to as the Dominicans.
He attended the Pontifical College of the Immaculate Conception on the Dominican Home of Research in Washington, DC, the place he earned his Grasp of Divinity and Licentiate in theology.
He additionally earned his doctorate in sacred theology from the College of Fribourg in Switzerland.
Father Austriaco labored as an investigator for the Rhode Island-IDeA Community of Biomedical Analysis Excellence Program funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), a scientific advisor on the Nationwide Catholic Bioethics Heart, and an ethics advisor for St. Joseph Well being Companies of Rhode Island.
“Father Austriaco has mental pursuits each in molecular and mobile genetics and in ethical theology. His laboratory at Windfall School is investigating the genetics of programmed cell demise utilizing yeasts as mannequin organisms,” learn Austriaco’s profile on Catholic.com.
Father Austriaco’s NIH-funded analysis laboratory at Windfall School is investigating the genetics of programmed cell demise utilizing the yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, as mannequin organisms, in response to the Workplace of the Chaplains and Non secular Life on the Brown College in Windfall.
His areas of experience embrace Biology of most cancers, growing older, and programmed cell demise, well being care ethics and bioethics within the Catholic custom, philosophical and theological implications of contemporary evolutionary concept.
Austriaco’s first e-book, Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics, was acknowledged as a 2012 Selection excellent tutorial title by the Affiliation of School and Analysis Libraries.
His analysis works have additionally been printed in numerous scientific journals. (SunStar Philippines)