A research lab in Australia has announced clinical trials for a possible vaccine against COVID-19.
Scientists all around the world are grappling to find a vaccine for the novel virus which appeared in China last December and has since killed over 139,400 people globally and infected an upward of 2.08 million others.
Nucleus Network said in a statement on Wednesday it will jointly hold trials with Novavax, a bio-tech company based in the U.S.
“Nucleus has a rich history of Phase 1 vaccine trials, and a long-standing track-record with Novavax; we are well positioned to implement rapid testing with first-in-human trials over the coming weeks,” said Cameron Johnson, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nucleus Network.
The first phase of the trials is expected to begin in mid-May with results in July.
Novavax has worked on development of vaccines for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), along with prior work on Ebola.
“The urgent global race to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic drove our rapid identification and selection of an optimal, highly immunogenic vaccine candidate,” said Stanley C. Erck, CEO of Novavax.
Nucleus Network will hold trials at its two clinics in Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We own 150 of the total 250 dedicated phase I beds available in Australia over two sites in Melbourne and Brisbane, located within major medical precincts. Supported by our workforce of over 400 specialists, we are in the unique position of offering sponsors a multi-site pathway to conduct their clinical trials,” said Johnson of Nucleus Network.
Earlier this month, Australia's science agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said it has begun trials on ferrets to produce a vaccine against the virus.
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