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Coronavirus vaccine: the University of Queensland reaches a milestone | India News

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BENGALURU: In just three weeks since they started working on it as part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) rapid response program, a team from the University of Queensland has reached a key milestone in its accelerated research to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The team has created its first candidate vaccine in the laboratory and, after final verification, will immediately go to critical preclinical tests.

“The milestone of the proof of concept comes after the announcement of the project on January 24 as part of CEPI and the team has demonstrated considerable progress in line with the highly accelerated time frame of the rapid response program, and the long hours in the laboratory they have been worth it with this achievement, “said the vice chancellor and president of UQ, professor Peter Høj in a statement.

Affirming that there is still thorough evidence to ensure that the vaccine candidate is safe and creates an effective immune response, he said: “… But the technology and dedication of these researchers means that the first obstacle has been overcome.”

The work in the laboratory shows the feasibility of using UQ “molecular clamp” technology to design a vaccine candidate that can be more easily recognized by the immune system, triggering a protective immune response.

The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale necessary for additional tests, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.

The researchers said the initial investigation had gone “as expected” and that the material created had the properties that allowed the team to continue the development of the vaccine. The group continues to work with a very accelerated schedule to stay on track for clinical research tests after mid-year.

UQ is one of only three programs worldwide, and the only one in Australia, initiated by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparation Innovations (CEPI), which takes advantage of “rapid response” platforms in response to the new outbreak of coronavirus.

In a previous statement shared with TOI, Høj had said that the fluidity of the current outbreak represented a major challenge for the international community. “It is still unknown much about the ease with which the virus can be transmitted among humans. Working with CEPI, the University of Queensland is using its vaccine technology to respond to this global health challenge. ”

According to the Director of the Faculty of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences of the University, Professor Paul Young, the university had innovative technology for the rapid generation of new vaccines from the knowledge of the information of the genetic sequence of a virus.

“The team hopes to develop a vaccine over the next six months, which can be used to help contain this outbreak. The vaccine would be distributed to first responders, helping to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the world, ”Young had said.

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