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Update 3-For the first time in the world, the UK challenges a test that exposes volunteers to COVID-19


(Add statements from potential volunteers, expert comments)

London, February 17 (Reuters)-UK becomes the first country in the world on Wednesday, a human challenge test in which volunteers are deliberately exposed to COVID-19 to study diseases caused by the new coronavirus I took the lead. ..

Scientists behind the plan told reporters at a press conference that the trial is expected to begin within a month, with up to 90 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30. Exposed to the minimum amount of virus needed to cause an infection.

Volunteers are screened for potential health risks before being admitted and quarantined in a specialized unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London for at least 14 days for close scrutiny by medical staff.

“Of course, an absolute priority is volunteer safety,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor of medicine at Imperial College London, who co-leads the project with the UK Government’s Vaccine Task Force and clinical firm hVIVO. I did. “None of us want to do this if there is a considerable risk.”

Scientists have used human challenge trials for decades to learn more about diseases such as malaria, flu, typhoid fever, and cholera, and to develop treatments and vaccines for them.

Participants in the UK COVID-19 Challenge Trial were the lead investigators of the trial when they were allowed to return home after the first 14 days only if “extensive testing” showed that they were not infectious. One Imperial Christian said:

Participants in a group called 1Day Sooner, which is urging governments around the world to conduct a human challenge trial with the new coronavirus, said they would accelerate research on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, welcoming the UK move. Did.

Alistair Fraser-Urquhart, an activist who said he wanted to participate in the study, said in a statement that he “lived for a long time” about the risks but was “ready to take on them for the benefit of others.” It was. ..

Chiu said the purpose of this first task was “to understand how the virus infects people and how it passes between us well.”

Further trials using the challenge model could be conducted months and years ahead to establish which vaccines and treatments are most effective, he said.

According to Chiu’s team, volunteers will receive about £ 88 ($ 122) of compensation per day during the study. This includes one year of follow-up and investigations are conducted in a safe and controlled environment. Minimize risk.

They said that a version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been prevalent in the UK since March 2020 will be used instead of one of the new variants to make the trial as safe as possible.

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Warwick who was not involved in the study, said it should provide important insights into the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Human challenge trials have been used to study infectious diseases, from the common cold virus to malaria,” he said. “Such controlled studies provide insights into host-pathogen interactions, facilitate the identification of defense correlations, and accelerate the development of vaccines and new therapies.”

$ 1 = £ 0.7213 Edited by Bernadette Baum


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