Australia

Coronavirus vaccine breakthrough as Queensland scientists raise high levels of antibodies in testing

Blood samples from recovered coronavirus patients could be the key to helping future patients recover. Source: The University of Queensland

Early tests of The University of Queensland's COVID-19 vaccine have shown it can raise high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the deadly virus.

Early tests of a potential coronavirus vaccine have shown promising results against the deadly virus, Queensland researchers say.

The University of Queensland's COVID-19 vaccine has shown in pre-clinical tests it can raise high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus.

The university's project co-leader Professor Paul Young said the results were an excellent indication the vaccine worked as expected.

"This is what we were hoping for, and it's a great relief for the team given the tremendous faith placed in our technology by CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation), federal and Queensland governments and our philanthropic partners," Professor Young said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We were particularly pleased that the strength of the antibody response was even better than those observed in samples from COVID-19 recovered patients."

Professor Paul Young of The University of Queensland.
Professor Paul Young of The University of Queensland.
The University of Queensland

Professor Kanta Subbarao of the Doherty Institute, which is working with The University of Queensland, tested the vaccine samples in the laboratory.

"This is a very important finding because similar immune responses with SARS vaccines in animal models were shown to lead to protection from infection," Prof Subbarao said.

Dutch company Viroclinics Xplore is also collaborating on the vaccine tests.

The final results from pre-clinical tests are hoped to be in by early June before clinical trials can start.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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