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COVID-19 Vaccine: Imperial researchers’ RNA-based vaccine enters human trials

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covid19 vaccine

The RNA-based vaccine for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, developed by the researchers at Imperial College London is now in the midst of clinical trials. For the first time, the vaccine candidate will be tested in humans, and will reveal whether it is able to safely and effectively mount an immune response to fight the COVID-19.

covid19 vaccine

A report from Imperial suggested that this is also the first time that self-amplifying RNA technology, a novel technique in vaccine development, will be put to test. This will enable the scientists to respond more promptly, in future, to emerging diseases. The vaccine cost the British Government close to £41 million and another £5m in donations for the development and sending it through to clinical trials.

COVID-19 vaccine: The Clinical trial phase

The vaccine showed promising results in the pre-clinical test in animal studies. The tests were rigorous, and the results revealed that the vaccine is safe for humans and is able to build an effective immune response. The clinical trials will last over the next few weeks. The vaccine will be given to 300 healthy candidates over two visits. After an initial dose, a second boosting dose will be given after four weeks. Scientists are hopeful that these trials will produce safe immune response against the COVID-19. If the vaccine gets through this first test, a phase III trial has been planed for the later part of the year. Phase III trial will involve close to 6000 healthy participants on whom the vaccine will be tested.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Details about Imperial College’s Vaccine Candidate

The vaccine candidate was formulated by making use of synthetic strands of the genetic code, known as the RNA, on the basis of the coronavirus’ genetic material. Upon injecting the RNA into muscle, it amplifies and makes many copies of itself. This sends the body’s immune system a signal to make copies of a spiky protein which is found on the outside of the coronavirus.

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