Human testing is about to begin on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed in Queensland. Image by EPA PHOTO

Health

Qld COVID-19 human vaccine trials to start

2020-07-13 12:48:06

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Queensland is now ready to be tested on humans, giving hope of a breakthrough in combating the virus which has caused a worldwide pandemic.

The human testing of the “molecular clamp” vaccine candidate, to start on Monday, follows encouraging results from animal testing trials conducted in the Netherlands, the Sunday Mail in Brisbane reports.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised UQ for their search for a COVID-19 vaccine and said she expected the university to reveal more on Monday.

The premier said she has been encouraged by the work of the UQ scientists and their advancements so far.

“We know UQ is at the forefront of some of the work they’re doing and they’ll be making further announcements tomorrow,” she told reporters on Sunday.  

“We are very encouraged by the news from UQ. 

“It’s the early stages…and we have great scientists here in Queensland and they are doing a remarkable job.”

Professor Robert Booy, head of Clinical Research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, said the animal trials would have “ticked all the boxes” allowing the human testing to go ahead.

“There is no way the research team would be able to progress from animals to humans without a complete guarantee of safety and they would likely have a confidence in its effectiveness.” 

There are more than 130 vaccines in the works around the world but UQ’s work is believed to have shown great success in the pre-clinical stage of development.

“We invested millions into this research because we know a vaccine is crucial to defeating COVID-19,” Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones told the Sunday Mail.

We know UQ is at the forefront of the some of the work their doing and they’ll be making further announcements on Monday