13th July, 2020
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Sechenov University in Moscow said it has completed clinical trials using human volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine, Russian news agency TASS reports.
According to Sechenov University Center for Clinical Research on Medications head and chief researcher Elena Smolyarchuk, study data showed the vaccine candidate’s effectiveness.
“The research has been completed and it proved that the vaccine is safe. The volunteers will be discharged on 15 July and 20 July,” Smolyarchuk was quoted by the news agency.
Having spent 28 days in isolation, the 38 paid trial candidates will be placed under observation for six months after being discharged.
Last month, Russia granted authorisation for clinical trials of two formulations of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
An intramuscular solution of the vaccine was tested at the Burdenko Military Hospital while Sechenov University assessed the vaccine in the form a powder for the preparation of an intramuscular solution.
The first stage of testing at the university commenced on 18 June in a group of 18 participants. The second group of the study involved 20 volunteers who were vaccinated on 23 June.
Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology director Vadim Tarasov also told Russian news agency Sputnik that Sechenov University in a pandemic situation acted not only as an educational institution but also as a scientific and technological research center that is able to participate in the creation of such important and complex products as drugs.
“We worked with this vaccine, starting with preclinical studies and protocol development, and clinical trials are currently underway,” Tarasov stated.
Prior to the human trials, the vaccine was tested for its toxicity, safety, immunogenicity and effectiveness in large and small animals at the Russian Defence Ministry’s 48th Central research institute.