Trials for a new coronavirus vaccine are among six projects to receive a share of a £20 million investment from the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
Six coronavirus research projects will be the first to benefit from a share of £20 million in government investment. Two government-backed projects will receive new funding, enabling pre-clinical and clinical vaccine trials, as well as supporting researchers to develop manufacturing processes to produce a vaccine at a million-dose scale.
‘In the midst of a global health emergency the UK is using all its extensive research expertise to quickly develop new vaccines to target this international threat,’ said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
‘This investment will speed up globally-recognised vaccine development capabilities and help us find a new defence against this disease.’
Alongside the clinical trials, other projects include repurposing existing therapies. Patients being treated by the NHS for coronavirus are taking part in a new clinical trial to test existing therapies developed for other conditions such as HIV. These therapies might help improve patients’ recovery
Additionally researchers are developing antibodies that target coronavirus. Researchers are aiming to develop a new coronavirus therapy by developing antibodies that target the disease – doing so will help treat a range of coronavirus infections and help people’s immune systems recognise the disease and destroy it.
‘The world faces an unprecedented challenge in our efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and it is vital we harness our research capabilities to the fullest extent to limit the outbreak and protect life,’ said Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.
‘Alongside the world-leading research overseen by the NIHR, these new 6 projects will allow us to boost our existing knowledge and test new and innovative ways to understand and treat the disease.’