UQ’s COVID-19 vaccine hits new milestone
THE University of Queensland's COVID-19 vaccine is on track, with early preclinical testing showing the ability to raise high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus.
The important results were an excellent indication that the vaccine worked as expected, UQ project co-leader Professor Paul Young revealed.
"This is what we were hoping for, and it's a great relief for the team given the tremendous faith placed in our technology," he said.
"We were particularly pleased that the strength of the antibody response was even better than those observed in samples from COVID-19 recovered patients."
The university revealed in its statement late last night that the development meant the vaccine's accelerated time frame was on track, with preclinical and safety data results expected in early June before starting clinical trials.
University of Melbourne Professor Kanta Subbarao, from the Doherty Institute, tested samples provided by the UQ team and found high levels of antibodies capable of neutralising infection by the live virus in cell culture.
"This is a very important finding because similar immune responses with SARS vaccines in animal models were shown to lead to protection from infection," she said.
Program director Professor Trent Munro said that every day mattered in the race to bring this science forward, and while there were no guarantees of success, the support received to date was letting the team move at an unprecedented speed.
"When you start combining clinical readiness with scale-up manufacturing, the costs quickly escalate and our primary goal here was to try and break down the financial constraints as much as we could," he said.
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Originally published as UQ's COVID-19 vaccine hits new milestone