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The webinar entitled “COVID Without Borders - A collaboration to Investigate a New Disease II - Vaccine Research and Development” was held online on 22nd September 2020.

As one of the series of COVID-19 forums, this virtual seminar focused on SARS-CoV2 vaccine development and was jointly organized by Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and CAMS-Oxford Institute (COI). Scientists, scholars, teachers and students from these two world leading institutions gathered in the cloud to exchange the latest scientific research progress in vaccine development and clinical trials, and to share the experience of fighting the emerging infectious disease. 

 

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Professor Dong Tao, Director (Oxford) of COI, hosted this webinar on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Oxford Institute. She affirmed the leading roles played by the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in combating the COVID-19 crisis in both nations. 

 

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Professor Qihan Li, the Director of CAMS Institute of Medical Biology, firstly gave a talk entitled “Immunological Study of SARA-CoV-2 in Vaccine Development”. He focused on the immunological issues involved in the development of the SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine, revealed the infectious features of SARS-CoV-2 in human bronchial epithelial cells, compared the protective effects of inactivated vaccine and RBD peptide vaccine, evaluated the immunogenicity of the inactivated vaccine and shared the preliminary data from phase I and II inactivated vaccine clinical trial, including the side effects, neutralizing antibody levels, serum cytokine profiles, and potential ADE effects.   

 

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The second speaker was Professor Sarah Gilbert, a vaccinologist at the Jenner Institute in University of Oxford, and the co-founder of the Oxford University spin-out company Vaccitech. She leads the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine development and clinical trial. Professor Gilbert’s talk was titled “Development of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”. Professor Gilbert introduced in detail the technology of the ChAdOx1 vaccine, revealed the preclinical study results of the vaccine, and shared the phase I clinical trial data and phase II and III outlines. She also updated on the progress of the clinical trial by providing the safety data, showing the vaccine donors’ serum IgG and neutralising antibodies levels, as well as the antigen specific T cell responses. Professor Gilbert gave an overview on the COVID-19 vaccine development worldwide in both animal models and in human trials. It is really important for us to have multiple vaccines available around world and data sharing.

 

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Finally, Professor Tao Dong expressed her gratitude to both speakers for their stimulating and insightful speeches, and the participants for their interests in the joint seminar. Professor Dong sincerely hoped that more collaborations between the two institutes and two nations could be linked up, so as to jointly combat the disease like COVOD-19 which matters to everyone on the planet.