Medicine PharmaceuticalsCOVID-19 vaccine
The University of Queensland’s potential COVID-19 vaccine is entering an important new phase of testing with the live coronavirus to determine how effectively it induces protection against coronavirus infection. This team is collaborating with Viroclinics Xplore on the crucial pre-clinical studies.
The ability to build on an existing partnership with a world-class facility like Viroclinics Xplore was a huge advantage for the project. These protection studies must be done in specialist biosecurity facilities as they use the live virus, and our long-standing partnership with Viroclinics Xplore gives us the confidence that this can be achieved as quickly as possible. This work will establish a critical package of data that will take us through to human clinical trials in Q3 2020.
In January 2020, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) requested the University of Queensland (UQ) use its rapid response vaccine technology to develop a vaccine, and the candidate being tested was produced within the first three weeks.
UQ’s Professor Trent Munro said beginning a large multi-arm study at Viroclinics Xplore was critical as the team moves toward initial human safety testing since this would establish a more complete understanding of how the vaccine performs. The vaccine has been developed using UQ’s molecular clamp technology that locks the ‘spike’ protein into a shape which allows the immune system to be able to recognize and then neutralize the virus. UQ has also announced a partnership with Cytiva, formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences, which will develop the material for clinical trials and is also preparing scale-up equipment for future mass production. Others commercial partners include Lonza and Thermo Fisher Scientific and the team has also been given access to key adjuvant technology from CSL/Seqirus, Dynavax and GSK.
In the preclinical evaluation/regulatory stage