Oxford University scientists, working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 infection, started recruiting candidates for Phases II and III of human clinical trials on Friday, May 22. For Phase II trials, the university is seeking 10,260 candidates including children and older adults in order to study the effects of the formulated drug on their immune system. Children aged 5 to 12 are needed for the next stage of the trial, while adults aged between 56 to 69 and over the age of 70 have been also zeroed for the research.
Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said that the clinical studies are progressing very well and researchers are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the potential vaccine induces immune responses in older adults and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population.
While speaking with international media, Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute and lead researcher, said the vaccine trial team "have been working hard on assessing the safety and immunogenicity of 'ChAdOx1 nCoV-19', and are preparing to assess vaccine efficacy". The potential vaccine was formerly known as 'ChAdOx1 nCoV-19', but now has been named 'AZD1222'.
Professor Gilbert said that the institute has had a lot of interest already from people over the age of 55 years who were not eligible to take part in Phase I of the study, and the institute will now be able to include older age groups to continue the vaccine assessment.
As per reports, Pharma major AstraZeneca in collaboration with the Oxford University's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group has ramped up its capacity to produce a vaccine for COVID-19 on a wide scale ahead of initial results “expected shortly” from ongoing human trials.
AstraZeneca has finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University, following the global development and distribution agreement with the University’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group, international media reported.
The pharma major has reportedly received more than $1 billion from the Health Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the United States, to develop a coronavirus vaccine from the University of Oxford.
The British-Swedish drug manufacturer has said it is engaging with international organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation for the fair allocation and distribution of the potential vaccine around the world. Serum Institute of India, the largest manufacturer of medicines by volume, is said to be working with AstraZeneca and Oxford in the development of the vaccine.