Scientists are set to launch the first human trials of a vaccine to defeat the Coronavirus after it passed accelerated animal testings.
After encouraging results on mice in labs, the Daily Mail reports scientists in Britain said they could move to have human testings begin as quickly as June.
According to the report, the scientists at the Massachusetts-based Moderna have used untraditional means to combat the virus.
Normally a weaker bug is planted in the body so a patient can adapt to fight off the infection.
But the new method sees messenger RNA stimulates the immune system to make similar proteins to the killer virus, which it can then combat.
The vaccine prototype is being funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with the foundation’s Dr Melanie Saville telling the Telegraph: ‘Contain and delay is the approach taken in the UK and a number of different countries.
But UK researchers, led by Mucosal Infection and Immunity head Dr. Robin Shattock, said they have successfully trialed a vaccine in mice and are hopeful it could be ready for human trials by June.
Senior researcher Dr. Paul McKay, of Imperial College London, told the Express: ‘I’ve got results from a month after I injected (the mice) and the vaccine works really, really well.’
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The team is working with scientists in Paris to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness in monkeys.
Dr. McKay said his team is requesting additional funding so they continue in their research and development. Should they receive the funding from the Medical Research Council, they can conduct human clinical trials by June.
“If we get the funding for the human clinical trials, we will put it into people by June,” he said per the report. “If British scientists here develop a vaccine it would be great if the Government supported it.”
BBC reports Dutch scientists are similarly working on developing an antiviral that can stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
From the report:
A group of Dutch scientists believe they’ve found an antibody that could help to detect and prevent the coronavirus from being able to infect people.
It hasn’t been tested on humans – a process that will take months.
The researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre and Utrecht University describe their discovery as an antibody to Sars2, the coronavirus causing the current pandemic (Covid-19).
The scientists were already working on an antibody for Sars1 and when the new coronavirus broke out, they said they had found that the same antibodies cross-reacted and blocked the infection.
The Coronavirus has surpassed 150,000 confirmed cases.