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The trial, involving GRT-R910, has been launched by US pharmaceutical company Gritstone in collaboration with the University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It will explore the potential of the drug to boost the immune response of first-generation COVID-19 vaccines to a wide array of variants of Sars-Cov-2, which cause COVID-19.
“We think GRT-R910 as a booster vaccination will elicit strong, durable, and broad immune responses, which are likely to be critical in maintaining protection of this vulnerable elderly population who are particularly at risk of hospitalisation and death,” said Professor Andrew Ustianowski, Chief Investigator for the study from the North Manchester General Hospital.
“We now know the immune response to first generation vaccines can wane, particularly in older people. Coupled with the prevalence of emerging variants, there is a clear need for continued vigilance to keep COVID-19 at bay,” he said.
Part of Gritstone’s CORAL programme, GRT-R910 is described as a self-amplifying mRNA second generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – or SAM for short, which delivers antigens from both the spike and non-spike proteins.
“Our SAM COVID-19