LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain on Thursday (Oct 22) said it would partner with an Oxford-based firm to provide testing for the T-cell response of coronavirus vaccine candidates to try to assess their immune responses.
T-cell immunity is thought to be essential to protection against infection from the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus, and could provide longer-term immunity than antibodies.
The UK Vaccine Taskforce has chosen Oxford Immunotec to supply T-cell testing for its assessment of different vaccine candidates.
"It is important to be able to assess the different vaccines head-to-head and the T-cell response is part of our portfolio of accredited assays that we are employing for cross comparisons," Dr Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccines Taskforce, said in a statement.
Britain has signed supply deals for six different coronavirus vaccine candidates, including those being made by AstraZeneca and Pfizer and BioNTech, seen as among the front runners in the race for a vaccine.
Oxford Immunotec said its technology platform enabled the centralisation of fresh blood samples from different locations to measure the T-cell response in a standardised way.
It said the platform, known as T-SPOT, was being used to identify the T cells made in response to the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.