A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the third phase of a clinical study for a Canadian company’s plant-based COVID-19 vaccine.
CARe Clinic is the first site in Western Canada that will participate in a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine and is looking for volunteers, said Kayla Tiessen, research manager and co-ordinator.
“This is probably one of our biggest opportunities, so we are looking forward to starting this week,” Tiessen said.
Last month, Medicago, a Canadian-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing novel vaccines using plant-based technology, announced the start of the third phase of clinical testing for its vaccine candidate in combination with England-based company GlaxoSmithKline’s pandemic adjuvant.
Medicago received approval from Canadian and U.S. regulatory authorities to proceed with enrolment of healthy adults in the Phase 3 portion of the trial based on positive interim Phase 2 results, the company said in a news release last month.
“We reached out to pharmaceutical companies since the whole pandemic started and let them know we could help out if they were interested in studying their vaccine in Western Canada, but we didn’t have much luck,” said Tiessen.
The CARe Clinic initially reached out to Medicago for Phase 2, but wasn’t selected to participate. The research clinic then reached out again for Phase 3 and was successful.
“They looked at the data and we submitted to them what things look like here – how we’re centrally located and it would be ideal for all Albertans to participate if they wanted to,” she said.
Starting next week, the CARe Clinic will begin screening healthy volunteers, between the ages of 18 and 64, to participate in the Medicago study. The clinic is looking to enrol 250 participants over the next four to six weeks.
For more information, or to fill out a contact form to participate in the study, visit www.careclinicrd.ca.
This vaccine candidate, in combination with the pandemic adjuvant, was granted fast track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 17. Fast track designation allows the FDA to expedite the development and review of new medicines and vaccines intended to treat or prevent serious conditions and address an unmet medical need.
The study will enrol up to 30,000 subjects. The trial will take place in 10 countries pending regulatory approvals, starting with Canada and the United States.