Health Care

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate protects monkeys in trial

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate protects monkeys in trial”

Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said in a statement: "We now have a partner in AstraZeneca who are ideally positioned to help us evaluate the vaccine, manufacture it and distribute it to United Kingdom citizens as well as to the rest of the world". The trial began recruiting patients on April 23, after U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged £20 million in government funding to support ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 development.

The UK, Oxford, and AstraZeneca will also mass-produce the drug for other countries once it obtains regulatory approval.

"What we've seen so far is it works just as we would hope for and it works nicely", says Dr Stephen Evans, professor ofpharmacoepidemiology at London's school of hygiene and tropical medicine.

But he warned that there are no certainties and it is possible trials may not lead to a successful coronavirus vaccine.

The researchers have recruited up to 1,102 participants across multiple laboratories in Oxford, Southampton, London and Bristol.

A vaccine against coronavirus appears to have provided protection against the disease Covid-19 in six rhesus macaque monkeys. This is part of an overall plan to deliver 100 million doses in total. Joining Cobra and the Jenner Institute are cGMP contract manufacturing organizations ADVENT and Halix, Pall Life Sciences, University of Oxford Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, and the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

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The virus has been manipulated so that it can't harm humans, but also contains part of the coronavirus so that it would trigger the body's immune response to COVID-19's spike proteins which it uses to enter human cells and multiply.

The researchers will need to compare the number of COVID-19 infections in the meningitis group with the number in the vaccinated group.

Now the challenge is replicating the promising outcomes shown in monkeys in human trials.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has stated that it may be possible for a coronavirus vaccine to be widely available by September, if ongoing trials are successful.

"The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organised these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented. This deal with [the British-Swedish drugs firm] AstraZeneca means that if the Oxford University vaccine works, people in the United Kingdom will get the first access to it, helping to protect thousands of lives", Sharma told reporters on Sunday.

He told MPs in the Commons: "I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to come to an agreement with AstraZeneca that will ensure that if the science behind the Oxford vaccine works, and if it does it is likely to be one of the first available in the world, then we have agreement to make sure that 100 million doses are available for the United Kingdom, the first 30 million of which will be right at the start for the most vulnerable".



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