HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia laboratory working on a vaccine for COVID-19 has been given the green light from Health Canada to proceed with its plan for human trials.
IMV is a biopharmaceutical company with labs in Dartmouth, N.S. IMV started working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus as soon as the World Health Organization declared the pandemic.
IMV researchers have spent the past several months working on an accelerated timeline, modifying its existing immunotherapy technology to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine into the human body.
On May 21, the company selected a candidate vaccine out of a series of formulations tested on animals.
The company says in a news release that it has now reached an agreement with Health Canada on the design of a Phase 1 clinical study, which intends to test its vaccine in 84 healthy adults.
The study is unique in that it will test the vaccine on two age groups — adults between 18 and 55 years old and adults 56 years of age and older. Two doses of the vaccine will be tested on both groups.
The company says it has successfully created batches of the vaccine, and the plan is to start testing it on people through the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax this summer, with results expected this fall.
IMV says, if the trials are successful, it hopes to move to Phase 2 trials later this year. That phase would test the vaccine on patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The IMV vaccine is one of about half a dozen being developed in Canada which are moving quickly on to human testing.
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