A paid scientific study in the U.K. is looking for volunteers to be injected with two different strains of coronavirus similar to COVID-19 in exchange for money.
hVIVO, one of the 20 companies racing to find a vaccine for COVID-19, is looking for 24 people to volunteer as subjects in the study, according to the Independent. Participants will be compensated a minimum of £100 ($130) a day.
We can announce that we have commenced the development of the world’s first commercial human #coronavirus challenge study model, also known as a Controlled Human Infection Model.
— Open Orphan (@OpenOrphan) March 9, 2020
Volunteers of the trial, which is known as a Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM), will be injected with two less severe strains of coronavirus (OC43 and 229E) that are similar to the COVID-19, the strain currently impacting countries around the world.
The study aims to generate data that helps inform an effective selection of the best candidates and products that should be fast-tracked for field testing against COVID-19, EPM Magazine reported.
The two strains, which have been widespread in the community for years and only cause mild respiratory illness, will safely be administered to the volunteers at the trial, which takes place at hVIVO’s 24-bedroom clinic at the Queen Mary Innovation Centre in Whitechapel, East London.
This study could help advance the process of creating a vaccine and will only use common strains of the coronavirus rather than the aggressive COVID-19.
“We are very happy to be able to try and assist in the battle against Covid-19,” Cathal Friel, executive chairman of Open Orphan, hVIVO’s parent company, said in a statement. “Our Hvivo scientists and virologists, and especially hVIVO’s founder and the now chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board professor John Oxford, have a long history and experience of successfully developing challenge studies.”
Those injected will have to be quarantined and monitored by scientists for two weeks and will be put under a restricted diet and advised to avoid exercise, Complex reported.
“Drugs companies can get a very good idea within a few months of starting a vaccine study whether it’s working or not, using such a small sample of people,” Andrew Catchpole, chief scientists at hVIVO, said.
More than 116,000 people have been infected and 4,095 people have died from the virus, as of this writing, according to the data from Worldometers. About 64,760 people have made a full recovery.
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