UK to deliberately infect volunteers with coronavirus to speed up vaccine in new trials

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A 24-bed quarantine clinic run by hVivo in Whitechapel, London, has been picked for the first initial challenge trials which will see volunteers first receive the potential vaccine – then a dose of Sars-Cov-2.

Humans will be deliberately infected with the coronavirus as Britain holds the world’s first Covid-19 human challenge trials, it is reported.

Volunteers are to be deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to assess the effectiveness of experimental vaccines  and to speed up Britain’s delivery of the vaccine, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people involved in the project.

The government-funded project is expected to begin in January at a quarantine facility in London, the report said.

Volunteers will be first inoculated with a vaccine and later receive a challenge dose of the coronavirus.

The vaccine to be tested in the project has not been named, but the clinic earmarked for the initial challenge trials is said to be run by London-based hVivo.

Several people involved in the project had revealed that trials were due to begin in January at a secure quarantine facility in east London, reports the FT.

Volunteers will receive a vaccine and then receive a “challenge” dose of Sars-Cov-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

It is reported that as many as 2,000 potential volunteers have signed up via the US-based advocacy group 1Day Sooner.

The group campaigns for Covid-19 infection trials and has signed up 37,000 people worldwide.

It aims to speed up the vaccination process as clinical trials have in the past required tens of thousands of volunteers – something which would take more time than scientists have in the figth against the deadly pandemic.

A 24-bed quarantine clinic run by hVivo in Whitechapel, London, has reportedly been picked for the first initial challenge trials.

hVivo is linked to Queen Mary University of London while Imperial College London is the project’s academic leader.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency told the FT: “Human challenge trials can be helpful for the development of vaccines and can provide early evidence of clinical efficacy, particularly when there are low rates of infection of the virus in the population.

“The safety of trial participants is our top priority and any proposal from a developer to include a human infection challenge as part of a clinical trial for development of a vaccine would be considered on a benefit-risk basis, with risks monitored for and minimized in the proposed trial design.”

source: , Mirror.co.uk

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