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Oxford Immunotec’s T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 Test Used in UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study

Oxford Immunotec’s T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 Test Used in UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study content piece image
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Oxford Immunotec has announced that its T-SPOT® Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit is being used for T cell testing in the UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study, a national collaboration including the UK government, the NHS, academia and the private sector. The study is funded by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the UK Vaccines Taskforce and is being delivered through a partnership between government, hVIVO (part of Open Orphan plc), Imperial College London, and The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

The groundbreaking UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study has global importance as the first study of its type in the world, and the data generated should help to develop vaccines against COVID-19 much more quickly and efficiently. The first stage of the trial, which commenced in March, will enable identification of the most appropriate dose of the virus needed to cause COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in a safe and controlled environment. The participants will have a complete analysis of their immune response to infection carried out (including T cells) which should lead to a better understanding of the profile, magnitude, and duration of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. This study will therefore establish an optimised dose and study design that will subsequently be used to evaluate the efficacy of treatment and vaccine candidates, including level and duration of immune protection, in follow-on studies.

A custom version of Oxford Immunotec’s T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit (for research use only) will be used in this study. The kit uses the T-SPOT technology platform, a standardized ELISPOT methodology, to detect the T cell immune response in study subjects. Understanding the T cell immune response, in addition to the antibody response (via serology), may offer additional insights into how the complete immune system responds to infection and vaccination. As T cells are the first responders of the immune system and are known to be long lived, using T cells to measure immune response may overcome some of the limitations of serology testing. A CE marked IVD version of the kit (the T-SPOT.COVID test) is also available from Oxford Immunotec.

Dr. Magdalena Dudek, VP, Product Development at Oxford Immunotec said, “The UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study has global significance, and the potential to be a much more efficient and faster way to understand the disease and how our immune system fights it. We are very excited to be a part of this trial which should accelerate the development of vaccines and treatments against COVID-19. We are proud of our continual partnership with the UK Vaccines Taskforce which enables us to provide T cell testing for this critical clinical trial.”