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Race for coronavirus vaccine picks steam as Germany, UK gear up for human trials

BusinessToday.In     April 23, 2020

The race to develop vaccine for coronavirus picked up pace this week as human clinical trials were approved in Germany and launched in the United Kingdon (UK).

Countries from across the world have been attempting to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. Around 150 vaccine development projects have been established but till now only five, including the UK and Germany projects, have been approved for clinical trials on humans.

In England, human trials are slated to begin on Thursday. Volunteers for the vaccine trial would be administered the first dose of the potential vaccine. The trials will take place at Oxford Univerity where the potential vaccine was developed. This first phase of the trial will involve around 510 volunteers all of them aged between 18 and 55, according to AFP.

Research Director Sarah Gilbert has said that there is a strong 80 per cent chance of success, according to the news agency. The aim of the project is to develop a million doses of the vaccine for mass distribution by September 2020

In Germany, regulatory body PEI approved the country's first human clinal trials on volunteers for the potential vaccine which has been developed by German biotech firm Biontech and US giant Pfizer. According to the news agency, the PEI has said in its approval that the trials mark a  significant step in making coronavirus vaccine available as soon as possible.

The first phase of the German human clinical trails will have 200 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55, they will be injected with variants of the potential vaccine. In the second phase, high-risk groups would also be used for testing.

Biontech CEO Ugur Sachin said in a press conference on Wednesday that clinical trials will begin from the end of April. He also said that the firm will collect the first round of data by the end of June or the beginning of July. Biontech also said that they and partner Pfizer want to get regulatory approval soon so that they can start the same round of tests in the United States.

German regulatory body PEI meanwhile claimed that "further clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates will start in Germany in the next few months".

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