"A country's credentials, should be closer and more focused on the welfare and quality of life of society, rather than on economic growth unrelated to the development of capital and human talent."

In the global context of the fight against polio, Latin America has established itself as an influential leader, having been declared free of wild poliovirus circulation since 1994. In Panama, the last case of polio was recorded 49 years ago. The Center for Vaccine Research and Studies, Cevaxin, located a decade ago in Panama City, has been growing in the research scenario, providing relevant information and data based on the conduction of vaccine research programs and studies.

The joint work on governmental policies, health campaigns and the rapid and timely detection of diseases in the American continent, facilitated the early eradication of diseases such as Poliomyelitis, compared to other regions of the planet. 1972 was the year in which the last case of Poliomyelitis was registered in Panama. Since then, the country has been characterized for being a leader in medical and scientific research, generating a structural contribution in public health issues for the region and the world.

Panamanian development since the mid-1990s is reflected in the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP), which in 2016 exceeded 6.2%, positioning the country as a leader in the Region of the Americas. Panamanian progress in terms of health had its first steps between 1930 and 1940 when the Caribbean Sanitary Zone was established with temporary headquarters in Panama City. By 1947, Panama was registered as an official and active member of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), formalizing solid foundations in the country's medical and public health context.

For its part, the formation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1946, included as active members all the countries of the Americas, recognizing in 1949, through a signed agreement, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau as the WHO Regional Office for Latin America. In 1951, Panama signed an advisory agreement with PAHO/WHO regarding the development of public health projects in the country. Since then, the Republic of Panama has maintained formal relations with PAHO/WHO, managing an environment of development, medical and scientific progress, as well as considerable social progress.

In this context, PAHO/WHO manages a Cooperation Strategy with the country, forging transversally with the Ministry of Health, the National Health Policy and the United Nations. The development of initiatives in favor of national wellbeing and health has had an exponential growth in the 21st century, based on governmental support and the support of private companies and other regulated entities. Likewise, the bulk of scientific progress in the country has come from the research approach, the development of clinical studies and the work carried out on several fronts in preventive medicine and immunization campaigns.

Cevaxin is a great example of scientific progress and development in favor of social progress. The participation of volunteers has been fundamental in the management of several clinical studies on vaccines, providing vital data and information in the construction of new paths and solutions that encourage health in the country and in the world.

Although the purpose of the whole scenario lies in human and social welfare, the global key from beginning to end and the great success of the country, has had to do in large part with the participation of each of the volunteers who have contributed in the medical research processes, not only with Cevaxin, but in the entire medical and scientific complex of the country. The arrival of Covid-19 in the world in the first quarter of 2020 and the pandemic period that is still ongoing (Dec 2021), has boosted research and the improvement of clinical studies in vaccines, strengthening healthier life habits and greater awareness of public health. It is in these scenarios, when crises reveal human strength and induce human beings to find new ways to progress and live better.

What is a clinical study?

Before presenting the background of a clinical trial, its processes and the relevance of its existence in research and in the health of a society, it is of utmost importance to establish the purpose of such a study, as a means of conducting conclusions and results that strengthen the progress of a nation. Clinical studies and any type of medical trial regulated by regulations, standards and quality controls, are vital in obtaining new drugs and innovative treatments, which fortify the immune status of the human being, reduce the probability of obtaining diseases and improve the life of the population of a country.

Within a research process about a new vaccine, or about a drug prior to its release to the market, clinical studies are incorporated as a stage that examines and analyzes whether a treatment is safe and effective for the human being. For this reason, the clinical studies stage in the research process plays a crucial role in the achievement of new therapies and procedures in patients. In this way, it should be noted that the results acquired from clinical studies provide many data and information, which must pass through national and international regulatory entities, in order to give approval to the use of new therapies, drugs and medical indications.

Before any type of test in humans, a previous phase called "preclinical" phase is carried out, in which tests are performed on animals around the chemistry of the molecules in laboratories. It is of vital importance to thoroughly analyze the immunological reactions in other organisms, verifying factors such as safety and effectiveness, before entering the field of research and application in humans. It is then the time to value the contribution of volunteers participating in the overall process.

The ability of human beings to make free decisions about what they want and what they do not want is a fundamental pillar when conducting clinical studies in humans. The will of the individuals who participate in these research processes is the faithful representation of the impetus and the desire to contribute to health, from the context of individuals who are part of a whole and of a whole. Likewise, since these are voluntary actions, at any stage of the process this population group (each individual) can decide to continue (or not) with their participation in the study. The "Good Clinical Practices" (GCP) guarantee the welfare of the individuals who decide to participate in the process, supporting their rights and safety in each of the stages, rather than favoring a pharmacological and social benefit at the moment of finding a new vaccine.

 Doses, biosafety, effects and reactions of the human immune system are indispensable to evaluate the behavior of a vaccine at the time of its application. In a debut, the clinical phase starts with a small group of participants (20 to 30) and later, with positive results, advances to new phases with thousands of participants. At this stage, when handling massive groups of individuals, the collection of information taking into account diverse sets of human beings (races, sizes, diet, origin, metabolism, etc.), results in obtaining numerous dispersed data. For this reason, the data analysis work results in a more accurate understanding of the effectiveness of a new vaccine or drug. Likewise, in this informatics feedback process, it is possible to understand both benefits for the human being, and adverse factors and side effects. Later, depending on the results obtained and analyzed, approval for commercial use of the vaccine or drug can be acquired. 

Cevaxin drives scientific development in the region

The inconstant and variable environment deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic and in which the world society lives nowadays, invites human beings to look for new forms of correlation, better life habits and a greater process of conscience in front of the global context in which they find themselves. Panama has been leaving its mark in the research development of clinical studies in the region, promoting the creation of new alliances and agreements between public and private entities, contributing value, knowledge and formalizing the nation within a vital space more linked to the protection and prevention of human and social welfare.

Throughout the last decade, the Cevaxin Medical Research Center has managed numerous studies and campaigns, in order to find solutions for Panamanian and global health. In the process, research studies stand out, such as the one carried out on Poliomyelitis and its prompt total eradication in the world, in addition to the more than 35 clinical, epidemiological and public health studies carried out by the medical center. The positive experience that Cevaxin has acquired during this time is only the result of an investigative search for human welfare and the intention of the Panamanian society to improve its quality of life.


Programa REDES escoge a sus tres ganadores
Se presentaron 10 protocolos de investigación por parte de los estudiantes de medicina de la Universidad de Panamá