Oxford's Jenner Institute hopes to develop COVID-19 vaccine by September

Thursday, 30 Apr, 2020

The experimental vaccine has reportedly worked in protecting rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to heavy quantities of COVID-19.

Yes. Vaccine development is rapidly progressing, even though experts warn that clinical trials do not guarantee success and safety in humans.

The Serum Institute of India is collaborating with Oxford University to manufacture the vaccine if the clinical trials are successful.

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If the vaccine can effectively protect humans against the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, i the first doses could potentially be administered by the autumn, according to a blog post on the official trial's web page. 28 days later, the six monkeys were still healthy, according to Vincent Munster, the researcher who conducted the test.

That doesn't mean it will work the same way in humans, but Munster noted the rhesus macaque is "pretty much the closest thing we have to humans", so the results are at least promising.

A mere 551 will receive one dose of the potential COVID-19 vaccine and others will serve as a control group when unknowingly receiving an injection without active ingredients.

In the global race to find a vaccine, Oxford University just jumped way ahead of the pack. The UK government has pledged £20 million, or $US25 million, to the trial.

The vaccine is made up of a weakened version of a common cold virus called an adenovirus that causes infections in chimpanzees. However, distribution will only begin if and when human trials successful.

ReiThera's chief technology officer Stefano Colloca told Reuters his three-way consortium's potential vaccine technology would allow for production to be rapidly scaled up from tens of thousands to millions of doses, and would also have a long shelf-life to ease distribution.

Serum Bio-Pharma Park in Pune, India.

The Oxford team is not the only group that is seeing progress with coronavirus vaccines based on genetics. It found last week that its vaccine was also effective in macaques.

The swabs are moving into human trials at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Translational Genomics arch Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, which should be completed by the end of next week, and are in preclinical evaluation at six additional hospitals.