SARS-CoV-2 study kicks off in Germany

First participant enrolled in Phase III clinical trial of VPM1002 focused on healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic

May 26, 2020
HANOVER - Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) announced that the first participant has been enrolled on May 25th in a phase III study to investigate whether the vaccine candidate VPM1002 is effective against respiratory diseases like COVID-19. The large-scale multicentre study will be performed at hospitals in Hanover, Munich, Erfurt and will soon be broadened to other sites. The clinical trial will include healthcare workers who are particularly at risk from the infection.

VPM1002 has been developed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India in collaboration with the Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) from Hanover. The vaccine candidate was originally developed against Tuberculosis (TB) by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. The research group led by Prof. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann modified the BCG vaccine in a way that it can be recognized better by the immune system. Thus, the vaccine provides more effective protection against TB than the standard BCG vaccination. Recent studies have shown that VPM1002 can also be effective against cancer and prevent recurrence of bladder tumours.

The improved safety profile and effectiveness of VPM1002 raise hope that the new vaccine can also alleviate the symptoms of an infection from SARS-CoV-2. “This vaccine can be made available instantly as soon we have positive results. VPM1002 can be manufactured using state-of-the-art manufacturing methods which would make millions of doses available”, says Adar C. Poonawalla, CEO and Executive Director, Serum Institute of India.

In the new trial participants are randomly allocated to two study groups, receiving either VPM1002 or a placebo. The main goal is to assess the reduction of COVID-19 related sick leave among healthcare workers with direct patient contact during the pandemic. 1200 participants in total will be recruited for this clinical trial and the first participant has already been enrolled.

About Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH:

VPM is a development consulting firm for the biopharmaceutical industry. What is unique about VPM is that it began as a project management organisation, successfully developing and out-licensing three out of five proprietary products sourced from academic laboratories. Having mastered these value points, VPM now offers consulting services for the entire product development value chain. Based on its own in-depth experience and unique history having developed product candidates themselves, VPM offers regulatory consultancy, project management, due diligence & valuation, organizational & quality management and can act as a designated sponsor.

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