The Australian-made coronavirus vaccine, which could be available by the middle of next year, will use the booster ingredient already found in more than 150 million flu shots around the world.
Seqirus, a company of Australian biotechnology giant CSL, this week showed News Corp Australia its production line for the MF59 adjuvant in Liverpool, northern England.
The factory makes the booster ingredient that will be central to the COVID-19 vaccine the company is making in partnership with the University of Queensland.
The crucial third stage exams, which will take 30,000 recruits worldwide, should begin by Christmas.
Dr. Russell Basser, senior vice president of research and development at Seqirus, said the UQ vaccine team opted for a proven adjuvant or booster.
“It’s pretty new to the adjuvant world, but it’s also pretty well established – it has a long track record and we know it is safe when given with flu, and there are more than 150 million doses of the adjuvant administered to humans. ” he said.
“These years of experience with so many millions of doses is actually very effective in giving us comfort that at least this part of the equation is safe.”
The MF59 adjuvant is made at the Liverpool facility where flu vaccinations were administered during News Corp’s visit and shipped to Australia where the University of Queensland vaccine is made at the CSL and Seqirus Melbourne facilities.
The use of Australian factories will greatly speed up the introduction of the vaccine if the trials are successful.
The booster is key to the planned vaccine as it increases the effectiveness of the sting.
“You have to boost the protein’s immune response and make it move from something the body doesn’t respond very well to to a much deeper immune response that we hope will protect people from infection,” said Dr. Bass player.
Each vaccine requires between 20 and 50 micrograms of the adjuvant, with the adjuvant being supplied in pillow-sized liquid formulations.
It is added to the recombinant vaccine, which attacks the coronavirus protein tip and prevents it from spreading throughout the body.
The speed at which it can be approved depends on how many volunteers were exposed to the virus when stage three studies were conducted, most likely in the US or Latin America.
“We’re all trying to get the subjects on as quickly as possible, and that’s a big job – 30,000 people,” said Dr. Bass player.
“We need a certain number of infections in the study. In the worst case, we will only find out after 12 months whether it works or not.
“If it works better than the worst-case scenario and we are all planning a value between 50 and 60 percent. If it’s better, we can possibly pick it up within six months. ”
The Australian government has ordered 51 million doses of the UQ-CSL vaccine, named V451, as part of a $ 1.7 billion spending.
That would be enough for two doses per person, with a successful strike likely requiring a booster shot.
The University of Queensland’s research was supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), which accelerated its work.
The Australian government has also ordered 33.8 million doses of Oxford University’s vaccine candidate.
The American company Novovax, which uses a recombinant protein in its coronavirus candidate, achieved positive results from two studies conducted in Australia in August.
The World Health Organization said this week that it expects a vaccine to be available this year.
Oxford University’s vaccine candidate stays ahead in the vaccine race despite taking a break in the US while potential side effects are reviewed.
China and Russia also have candidates, but Western governments were unlikely to buy them.
Originally published as How Australia’s Coronavirus Vaccine is Made
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