Fifty volunteers are being sought to take part in a global trial of a new COVID-19 vaccine in Queensland.
Mater Research is helping a trail of a new protein-based vaccine on behalf of a large, unnamed US pharmaceutical firm.
Mater Hospital director of infectious diseases Associate Professor Paul Griffin is calling for 50 volunteers who are yet to be vaccinated to take part in the study in Brisbane.
He says a new vaccine will add to the global arsenal against COVID-19, which continues to evolve.
“It’s vital we advance new vaccines. The SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to evolve and if we want to get the better of it, our vaccines and treatments will also need to evolve and keep pace,” Prof Griffin said in a statement.
“The trial will assess the level of immune response the investigational new vaccine generates in trial participants.”
He said that while more traditional protein-based vaccines take longer to develop than mRNA or viral vectors vaccines, they offer a number of benefits
Prof Grffin said unlike the Pfizer vaccine, they don’t require cold-chain storage and they’re cheaper and easier to produce locally.
He said protein vaccines are having early success against COVID-19 in overseas trails and, if developed, they could make it easier to boost vaccine supply across Australia
“Most of the COVID-19 vaccines already licensed in Australia don’t use this technology but studies with this investigational vaccine, as well as other protein-based vaccines, have shown very promising results elsewhere,” Prof Griffin said.
“We’re hoping an additional platform should boost the available vaccine supply, which has been one of the biggest hurdles in getting more of the population better protected from COVID-19.”
Prof Griffin said Mater Research is seeking healthy, unvaccinated adults over the age of 18 for the trials.
Each participant will receive either one or two doses of the new vaccine and will undergo diagnostic and laboratory tests for up to a year.
CMAX Clinical Research in Adelaide will also be taking part in the global trials of the protein-based vaccines.
Mater Research is currently conducting a trial of a new mRNA vaccine on behalf of a global pharmaceutical company.
“Given the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, our vaccine research has potential for major global implications in our fight against the pandemic,” Prof Grffin said.
“The current lockdowns affecting most of our country demonstrate this virus will continue to claim lives, cause serious illness and cause disruptions until we get most of the population vaccinated. Hopefully new vaccines will help us do that.”