University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine project to begin recruitment

KATHMANDU: University of Queensland (UQ) has made a call for recruitment of healthy participants to sort candidates for testing COVID-19 vaccine.

UQ is accelerating its pace of vaccine project which was started as part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) rapid response program on January 24 by UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.

Associate Professor Paul Griffin, medical director of clinical trial company Nucleus Network, shared with online media that the recruitment for the vaccine has finally begun.

The volunteers will be injected with a manufactured protein which relates with the surface of the virus closely. It has been assured that they would not be exposed to coronavirus during the trial.

According to one of the reports from the University, it will perform Phase 1 safety trials in Brisbane from early July.

Project Director Professor Trent Munro, University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine project. Photo Courtesy: University of Queensland’s website

It also noted that early preclinical trials showed that the vaccine candidate produced high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus,

The UQ vaccine uses the ‘molecular clamp’ technology developed by Professor Paul Young, Associate Professor Keith Chappell and Dr Dan Watterson who have been driving the program jointly with Project Director Professor Trent Munro.

The University of Queensland and CEPI had entered into an agreement with Australia-based global biotech leader CSL Limited to support the clinical development and industrial-scale manufacturing. It would allow initial production in the order of a hundred million doses anticipated to be available in 2021 if clinical trials are successful early on in June.

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