Virus-like Particle Vaccine To Be Trialled In Sunshine Coast

The University of Sunshine Coast clinic at Sippy Downs will be among the first locations in the world to trial a virus-like particle vaccine produced by American company Icosavax.

Read: Two for One: 121 Care Appoints Two Women as CEO

According to Icosavax, virus-like particles (VLP) vaccines do not contain genetic material, so they are non-infectious and can provide a safer alternative to live-attenuated or inactivated vaccines. 

Because VLP vaccines have the potential to induce high-neutralizing antibody titers, they could be especially important for older adults where the gradual deterioration of the immune system as adults age can make vaccines less effective. 

Scientists from the USC are expecting that the possible next-generation vaccine will provide better protection against Covid-19. Dr Rob Scott, USC Clinical Trials’ Principal Investigator, will supervise the trial, which aims to determine the optimal dose and safety of the vaccine. 

“Virus-like particles display multiple copies of the protective antigens in a manner that closely resembles viruses but contain no genetic material,” Dr Scott said.

“Licensed VLP vaccines are well known to induce a robust and durable immune response. This type of vaccine can also be redirected towards new coronavirus strains as they emerge,” he said.

Read: Buderim Private Hospital Shuts Down Breast Clinic

The university’s clinical trial director Lucas Litewka said the need for new and continuing research into potential COVID-19 vaccines was fundamental to improving our pandemic response and preparedness.

“We hope to build upon our experience in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to partner on this new and innovative vaccine technology,” Mr Litewka said.

Who Can Participate in the Trial

USC’s clinical trial, which will also be conducted in USC’s Health Hub Morayfield clinics, will need around 84 healthy participants aged 18 to 69. It’s open to those who are already vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel costs related to the study. People who are in good health and willing to attend approximately seven clinic visits spread over an up to 8-month period can register their interest at

About Icosavax

Seattle-based Icosavax is focused on developing safe and effective vaccines against infectious diseases that cause severe, life-threatening respiratory illnesses. Icosavax is advancing VLP vaccine candidates against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).