Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) is working at the forefront of research and patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first of a series of seminars of our work on COVID-19, two experts will talk about their work into mitigating the impacts of this infection through the development of a new vaccine and other therapeutic approaches.
Professor Robin Shattock, in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, has been leading a team developing a coronavirus vaccine.
They have been testing an RNA vaccine candidate in animals since early February.
Early findings have shown that animals given the vaccine are able to produce neutralising antibodies against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease.
The team has received more than £40 million funding to launch phase three clinical trials of their promising new vaccine.
Professor Anthony Gordon, Chair in Anaesthesia and Critical Care at Imperial College London and a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is leading a trial to investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions and other treatments improve the speed of recovery and chances of survival for patients with COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma is plasma from the blood of someone who has recovered from a virus. The plasma may contain antibodies that their immune system has produced in fighting the virus – in this case, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, which can then be transfused into infected patients whose immune systems are struggling to fight the infection.
Patients from 120 hospitals in the UK, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, are being treated with Convalescent plasma as part of the REMAP-CAP trial.