Government of Canada supports phase 1 trial for COVID-19 vaccine

Posted Nov 1, 2020 by Tim Sandle
Providence Therapeutics, a Canadian biotechnology company, has announced that the federal government of Canada will support its Phase 1 Clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. This is an important step in the fight against the coronavirus.
File photo: A healthy volunteer receives an experimental universal influenza vaccine known as H1ssF_...
File photo: A healthy volunteer receives an experimental universal influenza vaccine known as H1ssF_3928 as part of a Phase 1 clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (Image dated June 6, 2017).
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH
Providence Therapeutics announced in August that its vaccine has produced better neutralizing antibody responses than those reported by many other mRNA vaccine manufacturers. With the new announcement and governmenal support, the company can now move forward with its promising research.
In relation to the coronavirus, mRNA vaccines work by triggering the human body into producing some of the viral proteins itself. These vaccines work by using mRNA, or messenger RNA, which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action.
The support takes the form of National Research Council funding. Other companies receiving the $23 million support are:
Immunovaccine Technologies Inc. (Dartmouth, N.S.)
Entos Pharmaceuticals (Edmonton, Alta.)
Glycovax Pharma (Montreal, Que.)
Symvivo (Burnaby, B.C.)
Biodextris Inc. (Laval, Que.)
According to Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, the investment is a "Testament to Canada’s commitment to evidence-based solutions to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to safely restart our economy, we will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and build a country that is healthier and safer for everyone."
Providence has been developing a vaccine over recent months and the science company continues to undertake animal trials in advance of moving towards Phase 1 clinical trials (which will involve people). The biotech group is expected to start these trials within weeks, as soon as Health Canada approval has been granted.
Phase 1 clinical trials involve a small subject group and they seek to find out about side effects, and what happens to the treatment once it is in the human body.
Each vaccine candidates needs to go through pre-clinical and clinical trials. The regulatory body, Health Canada reviews the evidence of safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality, for each potenital drug product.