Human trial of COVID-19 vaccine begins in Melbourne

Henrietta Brewer
May 26, 2020

Meanwhile, the Government reached a deal with the company to pay for up to 100 million doses, with Business Secretary Alok Sharma adding in a press conference that 30 million of these could be available by September, should trials prove successful.

It's the same process that Novavax used to create a nanoparticle flu vaccine that recently passed late-stage testing.A USA biotechnology company announced on Tuesday the start of human trials in Australia of a vaccine for the coronarvirus with hopes of releasing a proven vaccine this year.

About a dozen experimental vaccines are in early stages of testing or poised to start, mostly in China, the US and Europe.

The first phase of clinical trials will be conducted in two parts: initially with 130 healthy participants in Australia aged between 18 to 59, then in another pool of individuals in a broader age range and geography.

President and CEO of Novavax, Stanley C. Erck, said: 'The urgent global race to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic drove our rapid identification and selection of an optimal, highly immunogenic vaccine candidate'.


NVX-CoV2373 includes Novavax' proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance immune responses and stimulate high levels of neutralising antibodies.

The testing will mark the first human trial of a COVID-19 vaccine in the Southern Hemisphere and will take place at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital.

A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford has been trialled on people from April 23, Matt Hancock revealed at a Government briefing.

"At the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all", scientist Adam Hill said this weekend.

Dr. Rajeev Fernando, infectious disease specialist and rapid responder at three NY hospitals, supports HCS if it can speed up the process of finding a vaccine.


Another U.S. biotech company, Massachusetts-based Moderna, has already started a Phase 1 trial for its vaccine candidate and is reporting optimistic results.

This means that the shots will be produced in large numbers at risk of being useless if trials show they do not work.

"We've had a lot of interest, we still need a few more but we've had a great response".

Novavax has received $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, an organisation founded by Bill Gates.


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