UK COVID Challenge

United Kingdom // 21 October, 2020

Researchers in the United Kingdom will soon begin a clinical trial designed to find a vaccine more quickly. The Human Challenge Model is described as a study or trial where participants are deliberately exposed to the pathogen. This differs from most vaccine clinical trials where participants are exposed naturally. The study will initially be open to approximately 50 people and will take place at the Royal Free Hospital in north London. Further information is available from the official website here.

In other news, the BBC also reports that the trials will be run under the auspices of Imperial College London, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the private company hVIVO, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

The first step is for researchers to use controlled doses of SARS-CoV-2 virus to discover what is the smallest amount that can cause COVID infection in volunteers aged 18 to 30; a so called “virus characterization” study. The aim is to study the disease COVID in a controlled environment. Later phases may include exposing vaccinated and non-vaccinated subjects to the virus.  The Government is putting £33.6m towards the study.

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