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April 9, 2020updated 04 Mar 2021 4:23pm

Australia’s UQ Covid-19 vaccine candidate advances to preclinical tests

The University of Queensland in Australia has progressed its Covid-19 vaccine candidate into preclinical testing stage.

The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia has progressed its Covid-19 vaccine candidate into preclinical testing stage.

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Conducted in partnership with Dutch firm Viroclinics Xplore, the preclinical studies will assess the candidate’s effectiveness in triggering protection against the novel coronavirus.

Data from these studies should support the human clinical trials planned for later this year.

Vaccine programme co-leader Dr Keith Chappell said: “These protection studies must be done in specialist biosecurity facilities as they use the live virus, and our long-standing partnership with Viroclinics Xplore gives us the confidence that this can be achieved as quickly as possible.

“This work will establish a critical package of data that will take us through to human clinical trials in Q3 2020.”

In January, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) asked the university to leverage its rapid response vaccine technology and create a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The university used its molecular clamp technology designed to lock the ‘spike’ protein into a shape that could be detected by the immune system to neutralise the virus.

As part of the alliance with Viroclinics Xplore, an extensive multi-arm study will be conducted at the company to help gain more insights into the working of the vaccine candidate.

Viroclinics spokesperson Dr Koert Stittelaar said: “As a service organisation, we have committed to realigning our resources, equipment and materials to initiatives to test promising vaccines, anti-virals and immune modulators in the battle against Covid-19 and we have developed a number of preclinical models of Covid-19 infection.”

Furthermore, the university collaborated with Cytiva, formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences, for the development of material required for clinical trials. The company is also making preparations to scale up equipment for mass production in the future.

Additional commercial partners are Lonza and Thermo Fisher Scientific, while CSL / Seqirus, Dynavax and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) provided access to adjuvant technology.

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COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
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