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Self-amplifying RNA vaccine

Imperial College London

The team at Imperial College London, led by Professor Robin Shattock, have a promising world-leading new COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials. They have developed a self-amplifying RNA vaccine that, when injected, delivers genetic instructions to muscle cells to make the ‘spike’ protein on the surface of the coronavirus. This provokes an immune response which in turn creates immunity to COVID-19. Human trials are underway having been tested on animals since early February.


UCL and University of Oxford

The Vax-Hub, co-led by UCL and University of Oxford, has collaborated on the adenovirus manufacturing platform that is now being used to make the Oxford vaccine for clinical trials. The Hub has planned work on the optimisation of the platform to maximise yield, reduce costs, and support next generation vaccines for translation to low and middle income countries

Oxford vaccine

Imperial, King’s Health Partners, Imperial College NHS Trust

Imperial, KHP and UCLH are supporting the University of Oxford vaccine trials, another world leading vaccine candidate. Imperial College NHS Trust and UCLH recruited healthy volunteers to take part, with a focus on healthcare workers who have had a higher chance of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Glycoengineering the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor binding domain

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and UCL

Professor Brendan Wren and his team are glycoengineering the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor binding domain as provision for research, immunodiagnostics and vaccines, in partnership with the University of Oxford.

Novel vaccine development and diagnostic reagents for serological testing

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Professor Polly Roy has prepared SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles for novel vaccine development and diagnostic reagents for serological testing as the basis for early stages for further study on potential COVID-19 vaccinations.

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial with volunteers from Southampton

University of Southampton

Researchers at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and the University of Southampton recruited volunteers for phases II and III in human trials of a vaccine pioneered in the UK. Originally, the phase I trial in Southampton involved 160 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55. For phases II and III, part of the study increased the number of people involved to up to 10,260 people across a number of partner institutions across the UK, whilst expanding the age range to include older adults and children.

Broad Coronavirus Vaccine Project

King’s College London / SEEK / BTD

Currently, there are no vaccines in development for COVID-19 to protect against the broad family of coronaviruses. King’s College London, in conjunction with SEEK, via a newly created joint venture company (“BTD Health Limited”), aim to develop a novel T-cell vaccine that is effective against SARS-CoV-2 and as well as the broad spectrum of coronavirus strains originating from both animals and humans. This candidate vaccine has standalone utility as well as a role in combination with an antibody vaccine. The objective is to ensure protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infections as well as other coronavirus threats including emergent animal hosted strains.

Imperial College London’s COVID-19 vaccine trial

Imperial College London

This ground-breaking vaccine has received more than £40m in Government funding in addition to £5m in philanthropic donations, and is being trialled in six additional centres.

Preclinical studies have shown that the vaccine produced highly specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in mice, which were able to neutralise the virus. The vaccine is being trialled in more than 200 people across six locations: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University College London NHS Foundation Trust, University of Surrey and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

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