Trial of COVID vaccine developed in Scotland begins
A COVID-19 vaccine developed in West Lothian has begun its first clinical trial.
Biotech company Valneva will administer its vaccine to 150 volunteers across the UK.
If successful, a larger clinical trial is planned for April 2021 which could see the vaccine made available in the UK by the end of next year.
The UK Government has already pre-ordered 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, which was manufactured at its Livingston facility following a grant which allowed it to expand.
Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said: “Our teams have been working extremely hard to develop our differentiated vaccine candidate and I would like to thank them, as well as the UK Government, for their dedication and support.
“While conducting our first clinical trials, we are already ramping-up our manufacturing capacities and commencing production at full-scale so that we can make the vaccine widely available across the world assuming the vaccine is safe and effective.”
This vaccine is the fifth to begin clinical trials in the UK. Multiple options are needed to ensure enough people receive a vaccine and that people receive one that works for them.
It is hoped the Valneva facility could supply up to 250 million doses for distribution around the globe, if it proves successful.
Interim chair of the Vaccines Taskforce Clive Dix said: “Huge progress has been made in developing a successful COVID-19 vaccine. While this is very positive, we must remember there is no one size fits all approach, and we need to continue developing different types of vaccine so we can vaccinate the UK population.
"We believe that Valneva’s vaccine is promising and has the potential to tackle coronavirus now and into the future.”