Seattle research institute selected to conduct clinical trials for novel coronavirus vaccine

SEATTLE -- The National Institutes of Health has selected a Seattle research institute as the first to begin clinical trials for a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

The trials will take place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU).

Here's more information from the research facility:

What work is actively underway?

The trial is expected to take 13 months. It will recruit 45 healthy people, ages 19 to 55, to participate. The trial vaccine includes messenger RNA for the viral spike protein. It does not include any form of live virus, and the trial will not expose participants to the virus. To prepare for the trial, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute’s vaccine research group is establishing a registry of healthy adults age 19-55 years who are interested and potentially eligible to participate.

What will be studied in the vaccine trial?

The trial will be a small “phase I” test in a three-phase process examining the potential vaccine.  In this phase, Kaiser Permanente researchers will test safety and antibody production, meaning that it will test various doses’ safety and whether these doses are producing an immune response. This phase I trial will not study the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus infection. That will come at a later phase of the research.

How did Kaiser Permanente become involved in potentially studying a vaccine for coronavirus?

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute became a VTEU site in 2007, and it is the only one of the nation’s 9 VTEU centers not at a university medical center. Since 1962, the VTEUs have played a key role in the effort of the NIAID of the NIH to develop new and improved vaccines and therapies against infectious diseases.