PHARMExcel is delighted to be announced as the UK Contract Research Organisation (CRO) supporting University Hospital Southampton in the delivery of a world-first Covid-19 vaccine booster study.
The Cov-Boost study, backed by £19.3 million of government funding through the Vaccines Taskforce, will be run at University Hospital Southampton, University Hospitals Dorset and the Portsmouth Research Hub (Portsmouth Hospitals), and is being led by University Hospital Southampton. It will be the first in the world to provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses.
The initial findings, expected in September, will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on any potential booster programme from autumn this year, ensuring the country’s most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over the winter period.
The trial will look at seven different COVID-19 vaccines as potential boosters, given at least 10 to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme. One booster will be provided to each volunteer and could be a different brand to the one they were originally vaccinated with. Vaccines being trialled include Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac, as well as a control group. The trial has received ethics approval by the NHS Research Ethics Committee, as well as approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Yvanne Enever, Founder and Managing Director of PHARMExcel, said:
“PHARMExcel is thrilled to be able to support such a pivotal trial that will help shape UK policy and make recommendations for future protection against COVID-19. PHARMExcel have a long standing relationship with University Hospital Southampton and Professor Saul Faust, (Chief Investigator for the trial), and we look forward to working with him and the entire team to deliver this project.”
Professor Saul Faust, Chief Investigator and Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, said:
“This trial will give the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation the important data to inform their recommendations of how to protect the population against any future wave.
“It is fantastic that so many people across the country have taken part in vaccine trials up to now so that we can be in a position to study the effects of boosters, and we hope that as many people as possible over the age of 30 who received their first dose early in the NHS programme will be able to take part.”
Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Health and Social Care Secretary, said:
“We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security, and the data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year.
“I urge everyone who has had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and is eligible, to sign up for this study and play a part in protecting the most vulnerable people in this country and around the world for months and years to come.”