Safety trials are underway for a Cambridge-led vaccine that could be used as a booster targeting COVID-19 virus variants and relatives that threaten future coronavirus pandemics. The first volunteer is expected to receive the vaccine today at the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility.
Cambridge coronavirus vaccine enters clinical trial
Developed by Professor Jonathan Heeney at the University of Cambridge and spin-out company DIOSynVax, this is a next generation coronavirus vaccine administered through a needle-free ‘injection’ – a blast of air that delivers it into the skin. This offers a possible future alternative to people who fear needle-based jabs. If successful, it could be scaled up and manufactured as a powder to boost global vaccination efforts, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Professor Heeney said: “The response of the scientific and medical communities to the development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines has been incredible, but as new variants emerge and immunity begins to wane we need newer technologies. It’s vital that we continue to develop new generation vaccine candidates ready to help keep us safe from the next virus threats.
“Our vaccine is innovative, both in terms of the way it primes the immune system to respond with a broader protective response to coronaviruses, and how it is delivered. Crucially, it is the first step towards a universal coronavirus vaccine we are developing, protecting us not just from COVID-19 variants but from future coronaviruses.”
Image: Professor Jonathan Heeney and the team at DIOSynVax
Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.