As the world is fighting the deadly coronavirus that has now claimed thousands of lives and has caused lakhs of infected cases, there is a certain hope as the world’s top university Oxford has announced its vaccine, that is entering Phase 1 clinical trials in humans.
First of its kind
According to a report published by The Hindu, the University of Oxford said that its research department is working on the first of its kind vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 ), to prevent COVID-19. They have already started screening healthy volunteers –aged 18-55– on Friday for their upcoming vaccine trial in England’s Thames Valley.
An official statement from University said that the preclinical work on the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is being conducted in collaboration with several partners including Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIH/NIAID), and the ‘CSIROxbridge Consortium’ led by Indian origin Principal Investigator Professor S.S. Vasan of Australia’s science agency CSIRO.
“This is a significant development in humanity’s fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has already claimed more than 25000 lives across the world with over half a million confirmed cases”, Prof Vasan told The Hindu from Australia.
According to the sources, the team at Oxford will recruit healthy volunteers aged between 18–55 years, who, if they pass screening, will be the first humans to test the new vaccine.
The trial will give important information on the safety aspects of the vaccine, as well as its ability to generate an immune response against the virus.
In a press release, Oxford University has invited interested individuals to volunteer to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine and register on its website.
It is said that Moderna and Oxford are amongst eight candidates chosen and funded by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the world body coordinating the attempts against Covid. The other six are CureVac, Inovio, Institut Pasteur, Novavax, and the universities of Hong Kong and Queensland.
Other than the eight CEPI-funded vaccines, there are also 14 other institutions including two from India: Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Ahmedabad based Zydus Cadila, which are engaged in developing a vaccine for this infectious disease, according to the latest issue of the Nature Biotechnology journal.