Phase one testing for a COVID-19 vaccine is set to begin in Australia, in only the third such trial in the world.
Australian clinical trials specialist Nucleus Network will partner with US-based biotechnology company Novavax to begin the testing of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine in the coming weeks.
It will be the first COVID-19 vaccine to be tested outside the US.
“Nucleus has a rich history of Phase 1 vaccine trials, and a long-standing track-record with Novavax; we are well positioned to implement rapid testing with first-in-human trials over the coming weeks,” Nucleus CEO Cameron Johnson said.
“With the capacity to conduct this trial across both our Melbourne and Brisbane clinics, we will be assisting Novavax to undertake Phase One trials and fast track NVX-CoV2373 to potential subsequent development as soon as possible.”
Novavax has previously been responsible for early development efforts on vaccines for SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), two other coronavirus epidemics.
“The urgent global race to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic drove our rapid identification and selection of an optimal, highly immunogenic vaccine candidate,” Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said.
“We are pleased that Nucleus, our long-time partner, was able to accommodate our accelerated timeline.”
The phase one trial is expected to begin in mid-May, with preliminary results by July.