Scientists at the University of Oxford in the UK say they are one step closer to developing a vaccine to stop the spread.
Last month, promising results were seen after injecting a single dose of the university’s new vaccine with six rhesus macaque monkeys.
This means that a new vaccine trial involving more than 6,000 participants will be launched by the end of next month to show that the vaccine is safe and effective.
With emergency approval, “a few million” doses could be available as early as September, if the inoculation works, the New York Times reported.
The University of Oxford in the UK is now recruiting more than 6,000 participants in a trial to show that the vaccine is safe and effective (photo)
Last month, six rhesus macaque monkeys received a single dose of the new vaccine from the University of Oxford, and four weeks after being exposed to the vaccine, all were in good health. In the photo: Scientists work in a laboratory to test COVID-19 samples at the New York City Department of Health in New York, April 23
With emergency approval and if the vaccine works, “a few million” doses may be available as early as September. Pictured: Paramedics lift man after transfer from nursing home to ambulance in Brooklyn, New York, April 16
For the animal trial, conducted at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory of the National Institutes of Health in Montana, six monkeys each received a dose.
Then they were all exposed to the strain of the new coronavirus, known as SARS-COV-2, which had made other monkeys sick in the laboratory.
Four weeks later, the six monkeys were in good health and showed no signs of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
“The Rhesus macaque is about the closest we have to humans,” said lead researcher Dr. Vincent Munster told The Times.
Munster said that after sharing more results with other scientists, he hopes to submit the results to a peer-reviewed journal.
While there is no guarantee that the results will be reproduced in humans, this is a good first sign.
Up to 100 potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently under development by biotechnology and research teams around the world, and at least five of them are being pre-tested in people called clinical trials. Phase 1.
Italian ReiThera, German Leukocare and Belgian Univercells said they are working together on another potential vaccine and aim to start trials in a few months.
ReiThera chief technology officer Stefano Colloca told Reuters that potential vaccine technology from his three-way consortium would rapidly increase production from tens of thousands to millions of doses, and would also last a long time. to facilitate distribution.
“We will start the trials in July. We must add to the challenge of developing a safe vaccine for COVID-19 the important need to guarantee the production of millions of doses in record time, “he told Reuters.
Charlie Weller, vaccine manager at the Wellcome Trust Global Health Charity, said on Wednesday that to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to protect everyone as quickly as possible, “the world must be ready to run the scale of largest and fastest – in the history of vaccine manufacturing. “
A Swiss scientist said Thursday that he aims to forestall industry projections that a COVID-19 vaccine would last 18 months, hoping to bring its laboratory version into use in Switzerland this year.
Martin Bachmann, head of immunology at Inselspital Hospital Bern and founder of start-up Saiba Biotechaims, said he plans to start human trials in August on 240 volunteers if he gets the necessary approval from the Swissmedic watchdog.
Instead of using a weakened virus like some vaccines, Bachmann said his team had opted for a “virus-like particle” that mimics the coronavirus, only without its genetic material needed for replication.
Companies in China, where the disease is believed to originate, are also working on potential vaccines.
The vaccine race has been fueled by the lack of options for treating the disease.
The EU drug regulator reiterated on Thursday the use of two older antimalarial drugs outside of trials or national emergency programs, citing life-threatening side effects.