Friday, May 15, 2020

Oxford coronavirus vaccine shows efficacy in monkeys

A vaccine for the new coronavirus being closely monitored while being developed by The University of Oxford appeared to offer protection in a small study with six monkeys, a promising result that led to the start of human trials late last month, american and British researchers said on Thursday (14). The preliminary findings, which did not undergo rigorous analysis by other scientists, appeared on the bioRxiv prepress server also on Thursday. In April, British drugmaker Astra Zeneca announced a partnership with researchers from the Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute, who are developing the vaccine. According to the researchers, some of the monkeys that received a single dose of the vaccine developed antibodies against the virus within 14 days, and all developed protective antibodies within 28 days before being exposed to high doses of the virus. After exposure, the vaccine seemed to prevent lung damage and prevented the virus from creating copies of itself, but it continued to actively replicate in the nose. Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the monkey data "for sure" is good news. Although success with monkeys is seen as a crucial step, many vaccines that protect them in the laboratory end up failing to protect humans. Last month, British researchers began applying doses of the vaccine to human volunteers in a small safety test. By May 13, 1,000 people had received the vaccine. Typically, it can take up to 10 years to develop an effective vaccine, but the urgency of the pandemic results in accelerated schedules, and some officials estimate that such a vaccine could be available for emergency use as early as the end of this year.
R7 - 15/05/2020 News Item translated automatically
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