Earlier, the government decided to allocate £42.5 million to two groups of scientists who are working on a drug for COVID-19. The first group from the University of Oxford, led by Professor Sarah Gilbert, started developing the drug in January when the genetic code of the virus became available. It is due to start clinical trials of the vaccine in humans this week.
The vaccine uses parts of the genetic code of the coronavirus that is “packaged” in a harmless virus. By mid-May, scientists from Oxford plan to test the drug on about 500 volunteers. If the first stage of tests is successful, the second stage will start with 1000 volunteers.
The second group from London’s Imperial College takes a different approach. They plan to inject parts of the “raw” genome of the coronavirus into the body, which should stimulate the production of proteins that fight the disease.
On April 18, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed creating a global coalition to work together on the COVID-19 vaccine. He added that the drug should be considered as a world heritage and available to all States.