Researchers at UCT run vaccine clinical trial

12 Feb 2021 - 08:15
Vaccines currently being administered internationally are designed to generate immunity solely against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein. Alternative or adapted vaccines, safe and effective against all current and future variants, are needed.

The Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa), based at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will conduct a Phase I hAd5 T-cell-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine clinical trial.

UCT researchers will enroll 35 healthy participants and evaluate the safety and immune responses induced by the vaccine which has been developed by the immunotherapy company, ImmunityBio, Inc. and manufactured by NantKwest, Inc. (NASDAQ: NK). The trial will be conducted at CIDRI-Africa’s Clinical Research Site in Khayelitsha.

Professor Graeme Meintjes, Second Chair at UCT’s Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the lead of CIDRI-Africa’s Clinical Platform, and a co-investigator on the trial said, “This Phase I trial and the planned development strategy for this vaccine are critical for us in South Africa towards addressing the health and social crisis that COVID-19 has caused in our country and the threat posed by the spread of new variants. ImmunityBio has engaged with government agencies and indicated a commitment to ensuring this vaccine is available in South Africa, should it be shown to be safe and effective. Hence, the importance that we evaluate it here from Phase I trials onwards.”

For more details on the trial, see the press release here.