BERLIN (AA) – Researchers have begun testing a possible COVID-19 vaccine on human volunteers, a leading German biotechnology company announced on Wednesday.
“Twelve study participants were dosed with vaccine candidate BNT162 in Germany since dosing began on April 23,” BioNTech said in a statement.
The trial is the first clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Germany.
In the first part of the clinical trial, nearly 200 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years will be vaccinated to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, and to determine the optimal dose for further studies.
Germany’s regulatory authority, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, approved the beginning of clinical trials last week.
Turkish professor Ugur Sahin’s BioNTech company and pharma giant Pfizer are jointly developing potential COVID-19 vaccines as part of a global development program.
The companies are also planning to initiate trials for the vaccine candidate BNT162 in the US upon regulatory approval.
Scientists and researchers across the world are scrambling to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus which has infected over 3.12 million people worldwide and killed more than 217,000.
Until such a discovery, health experts have been treating patients with anti-malaria drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which have shown positive results for coronavirus-related lung infection.
So far nearly 935,000 coronavirus patients worldwide have recovered from the disease.