Exclusive: U.S. to make coronavirus strain for possible human challenge trials - (Yahoo!News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • US government scientists have begun efforts to manufacture a strain of SARS-CoV-2 that could be used in human challenge trials of potential vaccines, as reported in Yahoo!News.

  • The work is preliminary and such trials would not replace Phase III trials such as those now under way in the US testing COVID-19 vaccines candidates from Moderna and Pfizer, according to a statement by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

  • "Should there be a need for human challenge studies to fully assess candidate vaccines or therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2, NIAID has begun investigations of the technical and ethical considerations of conducting human challenge studies," the agency said.

  • Some drugmakers, including AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, have indicated that they would consider human challenge trials to test their COVID-19 vaccines, if needed.

  • Meanwhile, the NIAID said it is continuing to prioritize field trials to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, but it opened the possibility to challenge trials for future generations of vaccines or treatments.

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