Kildare professor heading up vaccine trials for Covid-19

Oxford University

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

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paula@leinsterleader.ie

Coronavirus

Coronavirus / Covid-19

A Kilcullen professional is at the forefront of development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

Teresa Lambe is an associate professor at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, and a former student at Cross and Passion College.

According to the Pharma Letter she is part of a team in Oxford University researching a vaccine.

They began work designing a vaccine on Saturday January 10, 2020.

The current status is that they have identified a vaccine candidate and are working towards the first clinical testing phase.

Trials of a coronavirus vaccine could begin within the next month, the British government’s health agency Public Health England (PHE) has said, as it prepares to start evaluating the product developed by Oxford University.

A chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector (ChAdOx1), developed at Oxford’s Jenner Institute, was chosen as the most suitable vaccine technology for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine as it can generate a strong immune response from one dose and it is not a replicating virus, so it cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual. This also makes it safer to give to children, the elderly and anyone with a pre-existing condition such as diabetes. Chimpanzee adenoviral vectors are a very well-studied vaccine type, having been used safely in thousands of subjects, from 1 week to 90 years of age, in vaccines targeting over 10 different diseases.

“We are conscious that a vaccine is needed as soon as possible and certainly by June-July when we expect a big peak in mortality,” said Prof Adrian Hill, head of the Jenner Institute at Oxford. “This is not a normal situation. We will follow all standard trial safety requirements, but as soon as we have a vaccine that’s working we anticipate there will be an accelerated pathway to get it deployed to save lives.”

She also specialises in vaccine development and has worked on Ebola, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, Nipah virus and MERS.