Australia’s national science agency has reported a massive breakthrough in the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
On Thursday, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has announced to have started pre-clinical testing of the vaccine.
CSIRO said that it is testing two potential vaccines on ferrets at its high-containment biosecurity facility near Melbourne.
The first phase of testing will take around three months, CSIRO’s director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that the vaccine will not be available for public use until late next year.
We’re still sticking to the optimistic 18 months for delivery of vaccine to the general consumers. Now this, of course, may change. There’s a lot of technical challenges that we’re having to go through.
Grenfell said their scientists have worked as fast as they can to reach the pre-clinical testing phase in about eight weeks. The process usually takes more than two years, he explained.
The next stage will be to begin human trials, expected to start later this month or early next month, CSIRO director said.
The testing process will cover both efficacy and evaluating the best way to administer the vaccine. This includes an intra-muscular injection and a nasal spray, he added.
CSIRO was the first research center after China to have successfully developed a lab-grown version of the virus to enable pre-clinical studies.
The virus has caused a lot of damage in Australia where more than 5,200 people have been infected and 24 have lost their lives.