The world is battling with novel coronavirus which has grappled with thousand of deaths and lakhs of coronavirus positive cases. But, a rise of hope has arrived as the world’s top university Oxford has announced its vaccine is entering Phase 1 clinical trials in humans.
The University of Oxford came out with a press release which stated that its researchers working in an unprecedented vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19 have started screening healthy volunteers (aged 18-55) on Friday for their upcoming ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trial in England’s Thames Valley. The vaccine based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is already in production but won’t be ready for some weeks still.
Although this is the second vaccine to enter Phase 1, Oxford’s ‘viral vectored’ technology is more established, compared to Moderna’s RNA vaccine, which was the first to enter Phase 1. No RNA vaccines are currently licensed for human use.
The team at Oxford will enroll healthy volunteers aged between 18–55 years, who, if they pass screening, will be the first humans to test the new vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.
The trial will provide valuable information on the safety aspects of the vaccine, as well as its ability to generate an immune response against the virus.
The Oxford University through its press release has invited interested individuals to volunteer to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine and register on its website. Whilst the team will start screening people now to see if they are eligible to take part in the study, participants will not receive the vaccine for some weeks, as per the media statement.
The trial has been approved by UK regulators and ethical reviewers.
Researchers are working as quickly as possible to get the vaccine ready to be used in the trial, which includes further preclinical investigations and the production of a larger number of doses of the vaccine.