The University of Southampton is actively recruiting healthy volunteers for a promising early-stage vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 developed by University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group. Led by Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford team developed an investigational product that is now being tested for how strongly it can stimulate the body’s immune defenses as well as safety.
Called the “Oxford Vaccine Trial” the study involves 510 healthy volunteers between 18 and 55 with around 187 participants are targeted for recruitment at University of Southampton.
Preclinical Research Support
Ongoing preclinical research and support for the vaccine is conducted via partnerships with Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIH/NIAID); the ‘CSIROxbridge Consortium’; Public Health England; The Pirbright Institute; Prof. Stephen Becker at the Institut für Virologie, Philipps University, Marburg.
Manufacturing of the Vaccine
Current clinical trials vaccine product is being manufactured in a collaboration with University of Oxford Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, Advent Srl (Italy) and SGS Vitrology (Glasgow). Development and scale-up of manufacturing to produce millions of doses is being carried out in partnership with the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (Oxford), Pall Biotech (Portsmouth), Cobra Biologics (Staffordshire); Halix BV (Netherlands), and Oxford Biomedica.
University of Southampton reports that ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) from chimpanzees that has been genetically changed so that it is possible for it to grown in humans. The University of Oxford vaccine team combined the vaccine with genes that make proteins from the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)called spike glycoprotein which play an essential role in allowing the SARS-CoV-2 to attach to and enter the body’s cells. For more details, see a nice description from University of Oxford.
By vaccinating with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, experts hope to turn the virus’ spikes against it. By raising antibodies that stick to them, it turns them into targets for the immune system to lock onto and destroy it, helping to stop the virus from entering the human cells and hence actually preventing from infection.
A number of organizations support this critically important effort in the UK. The study is made possible by funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR provided additional funding for the set-up of the project through the Oxford Biomedical Research Center (BRC). Additionally Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has offered funds. Other sources include the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS) and others.
About University of Southampton
Located in the beautiful south of England, University of Southampton is a research center. The institution dates back to 1862. It has achieved global rankings in QA World University Rankings as well as in Times Higher Education World University Ranking and other ranking publications. It has over 15,000 undergraduates and nearly 7,000 graduate students.
Call to Action: If you are based in Southampton area (or other participating regions in the UK), consider participating in this important clinical trials. See the link here for more details.