Perth at centre of COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Perth clinical research company has been selected to undertake a trial of a vaccine to combat COVID-19.

Linear Clinical Research announced it will conduct a human trial of the vaccine candidate, which is being developed to help the body produce antibodies to fight the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 disease.

The vaccine candidate COVID-19 S-Trimer has been developed by China-based, global biotechnology company Clover Biopharmaceuticals.

Phase 1 of the vaccine trial is planned to involve healthy adult and healthy elderly participants and the company is currently seeking volunteers to participate in the study within the next two months.

Linear’s Chief Executive Officer Jayden Rogers said if successful, a larger clinical trial involving thousands of people around the world would be conducted immediately.

Mr Rogers said the COVID-19 S-Trimer vaccine trial was a major coup for WA and Australia.

“WA is in the unique position of working towards successfully suppressing the disease, so medical experts can dedicate resources to prevention.

“We are fortunate to be one of the few countries in the world to still be offering functional clinical trial facilities because we do not have large volumes of COVID-19 cases as compared to other parts of the world,” he said.

Mr Rogers said Clover was one of the first companies to start developing a vaccine and started working on it in January this year.

The company’s access to early COVID-19 data and reagents made them one of the first companies to develop a vaccine which targets a protein that the virus needs to enter host cells.

He said there were more than 60 candidate COVID-19 vaccines in development around the world, but only a few were entering early clinical trials in human volunteers.