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World’s First COVID-19 Human Challenge Study Begins in UK

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The world’s first COVID-19 Human Challenge study is expected to begin in the UK within a month after receiving ethical approval.

The study aims to establish the minimum amount of virus needed to cause infection and to help scientists and physicians understand COVID-19 and promote vaccine and treatment development to support the epidemic response.

It is being provided through a partnership between the Government’s Vaccine Task Force, the Imperial College London, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and the clinical firm hVIVO, a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Open Orphan, with a $47 million investment from the UK government.

This includes 90 carefully selected healthy adult volunteers who will be exposed to the virus in a safe and controlled environment. Volunteers are rewarded for their time spent on research.

Cathal Friel, CEO of Open Orphan, told CGTN Europe, “Most volunteers have to pay for their time because they work full-time. There is an inconvenience of spending two weeks in quarantine.”

For the safety of participants, we will be exposed to a version of the virus that is prevalent in the UK from March 2020.

Medics and scientists will closely monitor the effects of the virus on volunteers and take care of them 24 hours a day.

“This is the first time the scientific world can see the exact moment of an infection, what happens, and that’s really important,” Friel said.

This study can help you identify the most effective vaccines, so you can prioritize your development. / Knit Felt / AP

This study can help you identify the most effective vaccines, so you can prioritize your development. / Knit Felt / AP

The researchers and medical staff involved in the study will ensure that it does not affect the National Health Service’s (NHS) ability to treat patients during the epidemic.

After the initial study is complete, vaccine candidates that have proven safe in clinical trials can be given to some volunteers to identify the most effective vaccines and prioritize their development.

“There has been very positive progress in vaccine development, but we want to find the best and most effective vaccine for long term use,” said UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“These human challenge studies will be conducted in the UK and will be able to accelerate scientists’ knowledge of how the coronavirus affects people and ultimately promote the rapid development of vaccines.”

The Boris Johnson government is investing $47 million in research. / Scott Hepel / AP

The Boris Johnson government is investing $47 million in research. / Scott Hepel / AP

Human challenge research has been safely conducted for decades and has played a key role in accelerating the development of treatments for diseases including malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, norovirus and flu.

The trial also helped researchers establish the vaccine most likely to succeed in a phase 3 clinical trial, typically involving thousands of volunteers.

This initial study helps doctors understand how the immune system responds to the coronavirus and identifies factors that affect how the virus is transmitted, including how people infected with the COVID-19 virus deliver infectious viral particles into the environment. Will help.

Andrew Catchpole, Chief Scientific Officer at hVIVO, said, “We will answer a wide range of basic science questions that are not possible with traditional field trials, such as exactly what type of immune response is required to protect against reinfection.

Video editing: Terry Wilson

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