Source: University Of Oxford
A team of scientists at the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group of Oxford University have taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.
The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted).
During the study participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralizing antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100% of participants’ blood having neutralizing activity against the coronavirus. The next step in studying the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
A UK Phase I/II trial began in April with the team started working to develop a vaccine against the global threat that is coronavirus in January 2020 and have been working with unprecedented urgency in a race against the coronavirus.
“These encouraging results support further evaluation of this candidate vaccine in our ongoing large scale Phase III program, that is still needed to assess the ability of the vaccine to protect people from COVID-19,” says Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology, at the University of Oxford Jenner Institute and co-author of the study.
Oxford and AstraZeneca are collaborating with clinical partners around the world as part of a global clinical program to trial the Oxford vaccine. The global program is made up of a Phase III trial in the US enrolling 30,000 patients and a pediatric study as well as Phase III trials in countries including Brazil and South Africa which are already underway.
AstraZeneca remain committed to fulfilling their commitment for broad and equitable access to the vaccine, should late-stage clinical trials prove successful. So far, commitments to supply more than 2 billion doses of the vaccine have been agreed with the UK, US, Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and Serum Institute of India.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s results are extremely encouraging, taking us one step closer to finding a successful vaccine to protect millions in the UK and across the world. Backed by £84 million Government investment for the vaccine’s development and manufacture, the agility and speed with which the University of Oxford have been working is outstanding. I am very proud of what they have achieved so far.”