Human tests of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine are now underway, after tests on computer mice as well as rhesus macaques at the United States National Institute of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratory, the complete results of which were revealed recently in a non-peer-reviewed preprint.
This has dashed UK's all hopes of a safe and effective vaccine this year. Even as researchers advance the programs through the development process, teams are also working through manufacturing concerns to deliver doses quickly if the candidates show efficacy.
Speaking during a press conference on Sunday, the government minister gave an update on the work of the U.K.'s Vaccine Taskforce, which is coordinating the efforts of government, academia and industry. Some of the vaccine candidates might be approved for emergency use as soon as this fall, including a breakthrough drug from Oxford that already works on monkeys.
Mr Sharma meanwhile announced tens of millions of pounds in extra funding to develop a coronavirus vaccine, which could see 30 million doses available in Britain by September. That trial, by Sinovac Biotech, a privately held Beijing-based company, used a modified version of the full Sars-Cov-2 virus in its vaccine, while the Oxford vaccine uses a common cold virus to try and provoke an immune response.More news: Pats owner Robert Kraft's SB ring raises $1.025M in auction
She said: "There's been a lot of talk about the autumn as a date for having a vaccine widely available".
Also today the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said licensed drugs to treat Covid-19 could be available in the next few months, and that a vaccine might be approved in early 2021, in a "best-case scenario". Ball said the finding should warrant an urgent re-appraisal of the ongoing human trials of the ChAdOx1 vaccine.
In Sunday's daily briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the first clinical trials were "progressing well" with all of the volunteers for phase one of the trials receiving their dose earlier this week.
Alongside the funding for this candidate, the United Kingdom also provided £18.5m to Imperial College London for the development of its RNA vaccine.
"The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organised these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented".More news: Questions Surround Chechen Leader After Reported Hospitalization For Coronavirus
With at least 244,995 cases and 34,716 deaths, the U.K.is one of the most impacted countries by the coronavirus pandemic. It will have the capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the British population within six months, the government said.
In a further move, he said that the government was putting in £93 million to accelerate the completion of the UK's first vaccines manufacturing innovation centre. That's why it's necessary to continue looking for other therapies.
A day after Sharma made the announcement, it was revealed that Oxford University and AZ would receive £65.5m ($80.1m) to enable manufacture of the vaccine.More news: Ontario announces first wave of COVID-19 research projects