Oxford Brookes spinout awarded funding to develop COVID-19 vaccine

Scientists in the city hope it will be available in early 2021.

Oxford Expression Technologies (OET), a Bio-technology company in Headington, has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK to accelerate creation of the Covax-19® vaccine using insect cells.

The jab is being developed by Vaxine, an Australian biotechnology company focusing on the creating innovative vaccine technologies.

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, Research Director of Vaxine and a Professor at Flinders University said: "Vaxine's focus is always on vaccine safety and tolerability, as well as effectiveness. The insect cell protein expression system offers the best safety and tolerability and that was why we chose it for production of our Covax-19® vaccine.

"We are hoping to make Covax-19® globally available and this UK Innovate grant will now accelerate this process.

Professor Linda King, Professor of Virology at Oxford Brookes University and co-founder of OET said: "Effective vaccines against COVID-19 are desperately needed to allow all our lives go back to normal and OET in collaboration with Oxford Brookes is delighted to be assisting Vaxine with Covax-19®."

Clinical trials will take place in the UK.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says it doesn't expect widespread coronavirus vaccinations until the middle of next year.

It says none of the options being looked at in advanced clinical trials have shown a 'clear signal' of success.

Spokesperson Margaret Harris says while 'a lot of people have been vaccinated', experts don't know whether it works.

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