Volunteers could be paid £3,500 to be infected with a form of Coronavirus as scientists work to create a vaccine. Experts at Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre, in Whitechapel, London, will infect batches of 24 healthy people with 0C43 and 229E strains of the virus.
The two strains are both common, but much less serious, types of Coronavirus, and are thought to cause mild respiratory symptoms that are not as a severe as Covid-19, The Daily Star reports. However, scientists believe the experiment could help bring down the outbreak of Coronavirus which has so-far killed more than 3,500 people worldwide.
During the study, participants will spend two weeks in isolation, eat a restricted diet and will not be able to exercise or have physical contact with other people.
They will undergo a series of examinations during that time, including nasal swabs and blood tests, while medical staff in protective clothing will collect any dirty tissues they infect.
Hvivo, the company which owns the laboratory, will need to get a green light from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before the testing starts.
The creators of a Covid-19 vaccine are likely to receive a substantial reward, with drugmaker Sanofi making billions from the sale of the flu vaccinations last year. Around 35 vaccine candidates have been listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), although Hvivo is not included. However, the testing is believed to be part of a $2,000,000,000 (about £1,528,800) worldwide effort to find a cute for Covid-19.
Cathal Friel, executive chairman of Hvivo’s parent company, Open Orphan, says the company is at the ‘forefront of the fight against the outbreak’. Other drug makers across the globe are also starting their own participant studies into Coronavirus, with scientists in Seattle calling on healthy volunteers to participate in a 14 month trial.
The study, launched by Moderna Therapeutics, will start at the end of April, and participants will not need to be quarantined, The Wall Street Journal reports. Volunteers will receive around $1,100 (£836) for taking part. So-far three people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK, while new cases of the virus have been reported across the country today.