Next-generation coronavirus vaccine trials to begin soon - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Next-generation coronavirus vaccine trials to begin soon

23 Aug 2021

Clinical trials will soon begin on a possible next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is hoped to provide better protection against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

USC Clinical Trials will be the first location globally to trial this new potential COVID-19 vaccine, produced by American company Icosavax, in healthy participants on the Sunshine Coast and just north of Brisbane.

The study will be assessing the new potential vaccine’s safety and ability to generate good immune responses in two groups of volunteers.

The first group will involve participants who have not had COVID-19 or received a COVID vaccine, while the second group will require participants who have completed a full course of COVID-19 vaccination.

USC Clinical Trial’s Principal Investigator Dr Rob Scott will oversee the clinical trial, which aims to identify the optimal dose and safety of this virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine that has been produced using nanoparticle technology.

“Virus-like particles display multiple copies of the protective antigens in a manner that closely resembles viruses but contain no genetic material,” Dr Scott said.

“Licensed VLP vaccines are well known to induce a robust and durable immune response. This type of vaccine can also be redirected towards new coronavirus strains as they emerge.”

USC Clinical Trials Director Lucas Litewka said the need for new and continuing research into potential COVID-19 vaccines was fundamental to improving our pandemic response and preparedness.

“We hope to build upon our experience in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to partner on this new and innovative vaccine technology,” he said.

The study, to be conducted at USC Clinical Trials’ Sippy Downs and Health Hub Morayfield clinics, requires healthy participants aged 18 to 69.

The trial is open to those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated against COVID-19 and requires that participants attend about eight clinic visits and answer three phone calls over a seven-month period.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel costs related to the study.

Those interested in participating can find more information at the USC Clinical Trials webpage.

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