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COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

27 July 2020

SA Pathology is leading trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in South Australia by Australian company Vaxine Pty Ltd. Named COVAX-19, the vaccine began human trials at the Royal Adelaide Hospital earlier this month.

Forty healthy adults are participating in the trial, receiving two doses, three weeks apart, of the vaccine or a placebo injection. This is followed by blood tests to measure protective antibody and T-cell responses induced by the vaccine.

The vaccine is designed to stimulate antibodies which bind to the coronavirus spike and stop it from latching on to human cells. Principal investigators of this trial, SA Pathology’s Professor David Gordon and Dr Pravin Hissaria said the recombinant spike protein being used in this vaccine is similar to the other vaccines being used worldwide. However, the mode of delivery is different and does not contain any viral vectors. 

“Another major benefit of this type of vaccine is the ability to quickly scale up to large production numbers,” Dr Hissaria said.

It is hoped the trials will lead to a commercially produced vaccine within six months.

SA Pathology is providing in-kind support to this trial, free of cost, performing the participant’s blood tests to ensure their safety.