New trial of COVID-19 vaccine opens
30 Jun 2020
320 people are to be recruited to a trial looking at a new COVID-19 vaccine. The first healthy volunteer has now received their first dose of the two vaccine regimen. Initially 15 participants aged 18-45 will progress slowly through a dose escalation from 0.1 to 0.3 and then 1mg of the vaccine, with researchers assessing its safety. Then 105 participants aged 18-45 will by chance receive one of these three doses in order to work out the optimal dose. When we are confident reactions to the first dose of 1mg are mild to moderate, we will recruit 200 individuals aged 18-75 to receive the 1mg dose of vaccine, to prepare for a large trial in October to find out if the vaccine prevents COVID-19.
The trial is testing a ‘self-amplifying RNA’; the RNA holds all the information needed to create the COVID-19 spike protein (which is on the outside of the virus). Once injected into muscle, more copies will be made without making the virus. The hope is that this protein will train the body’s immune system to defend against the virus.