Dosing begins in the first human trial of UQ's COVID-19 vaccine
The next critical phase for The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine is underway – with the research effort moving out of the lab and into human trials.
UQ was tasked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a rapid response vaccine against the novel coronavirus in January, supported by an initial investment of up to US$4.5 million.
Vaccine project co-leader Professor Paul Young said the first human trial was about evaluating the safety of the vaccine and the immune response it generates in a group of healthy volunteers.
He said: “… testing showed that the vaccine was effective in inducing antibodies that were able to neutralise the virus. Further studies have shown that the vaccine was safe to give to people.”
The Phase 1 trial is being conducted by external clinical trials specialist, Nucleus Network and will involve about 120 volunteers aged between 18 and 55, with a proportion of participants to receive a placebo.
Professor Young said the UQ team will be following the trial closely: “We expect to have preliminary results after about three months, and if all goes well, we can move as fast as we can to the next stage in the vaccine’s development.
“That will be a larger trial with people from a range of ages, to ensure the vaccine works across the board.”