Keele University supports Covid-19 vaccination trial

Keele University’s Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) is supporting the National Institute for Health Research’s regional site where a 12-month study will take place to test the effectiveness of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The study, hosted by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) in Staffordshire, will test the safety and effectiveness of the investigational vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a wide range of people including those from a variety of age groups and backgrounds.

The vaccination trial will be led by the Trust’s highly skilled and experienced Research and Innovation Department who specialise in research and clinical trials, along with the support of Keele University’s Clinical Trials Unit with expertise in the development and delivery of high-quality multicentre clinical trials, testing treatments and health services.

The vaccine study has sites across the United Kingdom and aims to recruit a total of 10,000 volunteers, some of whom will be drawn from the NHS Vaccine Registry.

The West Midlands study aims to recruit 500 suitable local volunteers. People who are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as those with long-term health conditions are encouraged to be part of the vaccine research.

Sarah Lawton, Head of Operations at the Keele Clinical Trials Unit, said: “I am delighted that Keele CTU can support this really important work. Clinical research is extremely important in the fight against Covid-19 and we are pleased to be contributing to the delivery of the Novavax clinical trial in the West Midlands.”

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of MPFT, said: “We have all been fighting the coronavirus and we have all had to make significant changes to our lives. But in that fight we know that one of the key milestones is going to be a vaccine which is effective.

“With this in mind I am delighted to announce that MPFT will be leading local efforts to find a vaccine for Covid-19 with support from with our partners at the National Institute of Health Research, Clinical Research Network West Midlands, Keele University and local colleagues within primary care.”