UQ vaccine scientists report positive results from pre-clinical testing

27 Aug 2020

Pre-clinical testing of The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine has produced positive indications about its potential effectiveness and manufacturability.

Project co-leader Associate Professor Keith Chappell has reported to the International Society for Vaccines on data from animal trials conducted by Viroclinics-DDL in the Netherlands.

“The neutralizing immune response created by our molecular clamp vaccine in animal models was better than the average level of antibodies found in patients who have recovered from COVID-19,” Dr Chappell said.

“In hamster models, the vaccine combined with the Seqirus MF59® adjuvant, provided protection against virus replication, and reduced lung inflammation following exposure to the virus.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) and UQ announced a partnership with CSL in June to rapidly advance production and move the program into later stage clinical testing, regulatory approval, large-scale manufacture and distribution if clinical trials prove successful. This clinical work was also conducted with TetraQ, Australian National University (ANU), the University of Melbourne and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

CEPI has provided $15.16m to develop UQ’s molecular clamp vaccine platform that enables rapid vaccine design and production.

The Queensland Government has provided $10 million Advance Queensland funding for the vaccine project, the Federal Government has contributed $5 million and more than $10 million has been provided by philanthropic and other donors.

The UQ team are preparing to submit their findings to a research journal for peer review and to be available pre-print.

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