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April 28, 2020

UQ vaccine demonstrates good immune response in pre-clinical models

By Allie Nawrat

The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, has announced impressive pre-clinical results for its Covid-19 vaccine, one of the first candidates to receive funding from the  Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).

The results showed the vaccine was able to raise significant antibodies to neutralise the virus. The UQ team had decided to prioritise getting robust pre-clinical data before progressing the vaccine to human, clinical trials.

They were supported in this part of their development by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

UQ project co-leader professor Paul Young commented: “This is what we were hoping for, and it’s a great relief for the team given the tremendous faith placed in our technology by CEPI, Federal and Queensland Governments and our philanthropic partners.

“We were particularly pleased that the strength of the antibody response was even better than those observed in samples from COVID-19 recovered patients,” who have natural immunity to the virus.”

University of Melbourne and Doherty Institute professor Kanta Subbarao added that the high-level of neutralising antibodies “is a very important finding because similar immune responses with SARS vaccines in animal models were shown to lead to protection from infection.”

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