Australians Will Be the First to Trial Icosavax’s ‘Next-Generation’ COVID-19 Vaccine

Australians Will Be the First to Trial Icosavax’s ‘Next-Generation’ COVID-19 Vaccine
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Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has advanced significantly in the past few months, but that hasn’t stopped research on potential new vaccine candidates. Participants in Queensland will be the first to try out a new “next-generation” coronavirus vaccine as it enters its clinical trial phase.

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is facilitating the first global trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine produced by the American company Icosavax.

It’s hoped this new vaccine will provide better protection against coronavirus and its evolving variants.

The clinical trial will attempt to identify the optimal dose and safety of this new potential vaccine in healthy participants.

Icosavax’s vaccine is different again from both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines as it uses virus-like particles (VLP) and has been created using nanoparticle technology.

Dr Rob Scott, USC Clinical Trial’s Principal Investigator, is overseeing the trials. He explained the new vaccine in a press release:

“Virus-like particles display multiple copies of the protective antigens in a manner that closely resembles viruses but contain no genetic material. Licensed VLP vaccines are well known to induce a robust and durable immune response. This type of vaccine can also be redirected towards new coronavirus strains as they emerge.”

It’s important that research on new COVID vaccines continues because, as we’ve seen, variants of the virus will continue to emerge. Understanding these new vaccine technologies will also be a huge help in preparing us for future pandemics.

“We hope to build upon our experience in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to partner on this new and innovative vaccine technology,” USC Clinical Trials Director Lucas Litewka said.

Who can participate in the vaccine trial?

The study is seeking two groups of volunteers who are considered healthy and aged between 18 and 69.

One group will involve participants who have had neither COVID-19 nor any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The second group requires participants to have completed both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The trials are taking place at USC Clinical Trials’ Sippy Downs and Health Hub Morayfield clinics in QLD.

The study requires participants to attend eight clinic visits and answer three phone calls over seven months. They will be reimbursed for time and travel costs.

Any Queenslanders interested in participating in the Icosavax vaccine study can find out more at the USC Clinical Trials website.