Indiana Daily Student

IU School of Medicine to be used as site in COVID-19 vaccine trial

IU announced in an email Thursday the IU School of Medicine has been selected as a site for the late-stage clinical trial of the AZD1222 vaccine, one of only four COVID-19 vaccines in Phase-III testing.

Scientists at Oxford University started developing the AZD1222 vaccine in January, with early findings showing the vaccine produces both T cells and antibodies, the email said.Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is partnering with Oxford University to conduct the Phase-III trial of the vaccine at 81 different sites around the country, according to the email said

The Phase-III trail is the final required stage before the Food and Drug Administration can approve the potential vaccine. It will enroll A total of 30,000 participants in the United States, according to the email.

The site will be housed within the Clinical Research Center at IU Health University Hospital and is the only trial site in Indiana, according to the email.

The email said the site will be led by Dr. Cynthia Brown, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine. 

Once the site opens, Brown plans to enroll up to 1,500 volunteers within eight weeks, according to the email. 

The volunteer participants will represent the population demographics of Indianapolis, with Brown citing how nearly 40% of the city's population is Black, Hispanic or Asian. It is important to include as many backgrounds as possible in the trial, according to the email.

Volunteer participants must be over 18-year-oldand must not have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, but must be at increased risk for contracting the virus, such as those working in schools, stores, warehouses or within the healthcare system, according to the email.

Volunteers from across the state are encouraged to participate and will be compensated, but will need to travel to Indianapolis for two doses of the vaccine or placebo in addition to follow-up visits.

IU has the infrastructure to handle the trial testing successfully, Tatiana Foroud, executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine, said in the email.

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