The initial data on a trial of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University will be released in the coming week, The Lancet medical journal has announced amid reports its findings have been promising.
The development of a vaccine to fight against the virus has been touted as pivotal in returning the world to life as it was before the pandemic by protecting vulnerable people and building up immunity among populations.
Now Oxford University’s contribution – one of the world’s leading candidates for a viable vaccine – is understood to have made promising results in initial testing.
While falling short of proving it will work with complete certainty, phase one of the trial is understood to have shown the vaccine prompts an immune response from those tested – according to The Daily Telegraph.
Blood samples are reported to have shown up both antibodies and T-cells required to fight off the virus, the paper added.
The vaccine candidate is already in large-scale phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against Covid-19, but its developers have yet to formally report the phase I results which would show whether it is safe.
“We expect this paper, which is undergoing final editing and preparation, to be published on Monday, July 20, for immediate release,” a spokeswoman for The Lancet said.
More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands and ravaged the global economy.
However the World Health Organisation’s chief scientist said in June that the Oxford vaccine – produced in partnership with pharmaceutical firm Astrazeneca, was probably the most advanced in terms of development.
Elsewhere in the US researchers have reported Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine had been proven to be safe – and crucially had provoked an immune response in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing early-stage study.
Moderna started its phase II trial in May, and expects to start a phase III trial on 27 July.
Additional reporting by Reuters.