Osaka to Start Clinical Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine in July

Politics Lifestyle

Osaka, April 14 (Jiji Press)--The western Japan prefecture of Osaka is aiming to start as early as July clinical trials of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus that is now being developed, Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said Tuesday.

AnGes Inc., a biopharmaceutical startup related to Osaka University, is conducting animal testing of the vaccine. Once its efficacy and safety are confirmed, clinical trials of the vaccine will be conducted, starting with medical professionals.

AnGes, based in the city of Ibaraki in the prefecture, started to develop the so-called DNA vaccine in March in collaboration with the university. They initially planned to begin the clinical trials around September, but are now considering moving up the schedule as the animal tests are progressing smoothly, according to the firm.

"We want to administer the vaccine first to medical professionals fighting the coronavirus on the front lines," Yoshimura said at a press conference at the prefectural government office, adding that the vaccine can be used for a number of people once it is put into practical use. "The vaccine will be a key weapon in the fight."

According to Ryuichi Morishita, professor at the university's endowed chair, the vaccine will be administered to dozens of medical personnel as early as July. While working to confirm whether antibodies can be produced, the university will increase the number of people given the vaccine in stages.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press