UAB to Test Possible COVID-19 Vaccine
More than a dozen companies in the U.S. are working on possible COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. One of them is turning to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for assistance.
UAB has been selected to perform pre-clinical testing of a possible vaccine called ADCOVID, developed by Altimmune Inc.
6 UAB labs will collaborate with Altimmune Inc. to test the immune responses to the vaccine candidate in mice. ADCOVID, is a single-dose vaccine candidate that is delivered by an intranasal spray. UAB officials said they plan to start testing the possible vaccine in animals in the next 6-8 weeks…
“The vaccine that we are going to be working on with Altimmune is one that has already been tested in humans for influenza, and basically they’ve modified it to now to try and [use] it now for COVID-19”, explained Frances Lund a professor and chair of the microbiology department at UAB.
The pre-clinical testing in mice is expected to take 1 to 2 months, UAB officials said. If the vaccine is successful in mice, the company could move on to start testing the vaccine on humans as early as this Fall.
While the work being done to find a novel coronavirus vaccine has been some of the fastest on record, experts still say a vaccine may not be developed until next year. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) explained that a vaccine must be proven safe and go through the multiple steps of a trial-process. Fauci said it’ll take at least a year to a year in a half, to have a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine we can use.