Researchers at UTMB are collaborating with the clinical trial laboratory services organization Q2 Solutions to make a testing kit. Q2 will produce it for clinical trials so researchers can quickly and accurately judge how well a developing COVID-19 vaccine is working on people, the release reads.
The COVID-19 tests available through governments are used to determine whether a person is infected by the virus. The UTMB test focuses on preventing infections through vaccine development by creating a technology that helps determine how well a developing vaccine protects a person from COVID-19, according to the release.
Furthermore, UTMB's test is more sensitive and works much faster to test the potency of developing vaccines as compared to tests currently available. The test shows results in a single day rather than taking several days to complete and can process more samples simultaneously, according to the release.
“We have successfully produced a reporter virus system engineered with ... tags to enable quantitative determination of vaccine effectiveness,” said Pei-Yong Shi, professor of human genetics at UTMB, in the release. “This test will enable Q2 Solutions to analyze blood samples from individuals participating in vaccine clinical trials to see whether the vaccine has induced antibodies that block infection of the virus and thereby answer critical questions in the vaccine development process.”
Q2 said they are happy to be working with UTMB.
“We are pleased to support UTMB in this important research to develop the COVID-19 assay that, once available, may help accelerate vaccine development,” said Kevin Jones, vice president and general manager of vaccine laboratories for Q2 Solutions, in the release. “We are excited to take the assay developed from this research collaboration to production in our labs and enable vaccine developers to use it for large-scale human clinical trial testing to drive toward an effective COVID-19 vaccine.”