UK's Cobra Biologics Signs AstraZeneca Deal to Supply Covid-19 Vaccine

Henrietta Strickland
June 16, 2020

According to The Guardian's latest report, Imperial College London's researchers will begin testing the new coronavirus vaccine this week, which will be trialed in 300 people. Is it protection against severe disease?

"AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk", it said in its statement.

The researchers will inject two doses of vaccine to each of the healthy participants, aged between 18 and 17 years old.

It's the second United Kingdom vaccine to start clinical testing after the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's adenovirus-based vaccine AZD1222, which started a phase 2/3 trial in around 10,000 adult volunteers last month, with additional trials due to begin in a number of countries in the coming weeks.

A Chinese company is reporting positive early data from human trials of its vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus. It uses synthetic strands of genetic code (called RNA), based on the virus's genetic material.

After vaccination, the immune system is primed to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body. Developed at Imperial College London, this potential vaccine has so far only been tested in animals and labs, where it has produced antibodies at levels higher than those typically seen in an infected person.

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UK's Cobra Biologics Signs AstraZeneca Deal to Supply Covid-19 Vaccine

All volunteers will receive two doses of the vaccine over two visits - an initial dose and then a second boosting dose four weeks later. As soon as that candidate is proven to be safe and effective, the vaccine would be on hand to distribute to the broader population. If the trial results convince regulators the vaccine is safe and effective, deliveries would be expected to start by the end of 2020.

The research being undertaken by Imperial has been backed by government funding of £41 million, as well as £5 million from philanthropic organisations.

The alliance "will work together with the European Commission and other countries in Europe to ensure everybody across Europe is supplied with the vaccine", the company's chief executive, Pascal Soriot, told journalists.

The American Company Moderna held successful trials of the vaccine against coronavirus.

At this stage the company says its maximum capacity for manufacturing is two billion doses, but it is aware that total success may not be possible in the short term.

"If all goes well, we will have the results of the clinical trials in August/September. These human trials will contribute to global efforts to find a vaccine, which is our best hope for preventing COVID-19 and enabling life to return to normal".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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