In a new study, researchers found that a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, an experimental vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, protected six monkeys from pneumonia caused by the virus.
SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that causes COVID-19.
Based on these findings, a Phase 1 trial of the vaccine began on April 23 in healthy volunteers in the United Kingdom.
The research was conducted by the National Institutes of Health scientists and the University of Oxford collaborators.
The vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford Jenner Institute.
It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 protein to induce a protective immune response.
ChAdOx1 has been used to develop experimental vaccines against several viruses, including a closely related coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The scientists quickly adapted the platform to SARS-CoV-2 when the first cases of COVID-19 emerged.
They showed that the vaccine rapidly induced immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice and monkeys.
They then conducted vaccine efficacy testing on the macaques at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana.
Six animals that received the investigational vaccine 28 days before being infected with SARS-CoV-2 were compared with three control animals that did not receive the vaccine.
The vaccinated animals showed no signs of virus replication in the lungs, much lower levels of respiratory disease, and no lung damage compared to control animals.
The study is posted in the preprint server bioRxiv.
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