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Human Clinical Trials of Canadian COVID-19 Vaccine Now Underway
Dr. Volker Gerdts - Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

Farmscape for February 9, 2021

The first phase of human clinical trials to assess a new protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine developed by VIDO-InterVac is now fully underway.
Just before Christmas VIDO-InterVac, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, received approval from Health Canada to begin a combined phase-1, phase-2 human clinical trial of its new COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Volker Gerdts, the Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac, says the phase one clinical trials are now well underway at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax and, once complete the phase-2 trials will begin using multiple sites across Canada.

Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
We have three age groups that are in these clinical trials.
Essentially what you do is you do your assessment of the vaccine in each of these age groups and the data will then inform you to roll into the next phase.
We're hoping that phase one and phase two will take place in the spring of this year and then, as soon as the data is there and looks promising, we will then prepare and start our phase 3 trial and that is to now take the vaccine out in the field and see how well it actually performs in the field.
Typically phase 3 trials have tens of thousands of volunteers involved and so what we are assessing right now and working with some potential partners is identifying whether this can be done in Canada or, because of the vaccines that are now being used in Canada, whether we might have to go to another country to run it there where vaccines are not being used.
Probably in the context of the current discussion of these new variants that we're seeing, by formulating these protein subunits with adjuvants that are molecules that are stimulating the immune response, we believe that our vaccine will be highly effective against many of these new variants.

Dr. Gerdts notes the technology used to develop this vaccine is very stable and easy to manufacture and it has a proven safety track record with almost all of our childhood vaccines being based on protein subunits.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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