The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) is one of seven partner laboratories that has been selected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to play this key role in testing vaccines that are being developed around the world for COVID-19.
The seven institutes will form a centralised laboratory network to standardise immune response testing in order to directly compare multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Samples from preclinical studies and phase I and II clinical trials will be measured for antibody and T-cell responses.
Dr Melanie Saville, Director of Vaccine R&D at CEPI:
“We are delighted that NIBSC will be joining CEPI’s centralised lab network for the standardised assessment of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. With our global group of testing laboratories now in place, samples from COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials can be shipped to one of seven sites around the world for uniform evaluation, allowing us to evaluate candidates in high quality assays and identify which vaccine candidates may be performing well, in terms of immune response, in clinical trials.”
The NIBSC has received additional funding from CEPI to develop and international standard for COVID-19 antibody, defining a specific amount of biology activity in samples for regulators and vaccine manufacturers around the world to calibrate their own tests.
For further information, please refer to the press release from the MHRA.