PUBLIC Health England at Porton Down will receive £19.7m to accelerate essential testing for the development of a Covid-19 vaccination.

The new investment will enable Porton Down scientists to increase testing capacity, including evaluating individuals’ immune responses as part of the Human Challenge project.

This will accelerate essential testing to measure the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines currently in development. 

These tests are an essential component in supporting the development and regulatory approval of vaccine candidates. PHE’s partner, Nexelis, will be providing scientific expertise and also conducting additional testing for the evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines.


Innovation Minister Lord Bethell said: "This investment into new facilities at PHE Porton Down will enable its dedicated and expert scientists to accelerate the pace and scale of specialised testing to support the critical work of the Vaccine Taskforce."

Head of Vaccine Research Projects at PHE Porton Down, Bassam Hallis said: "This investment will accelerate the development of potentially life-saving vaccines to help get them to the public more quickly."

MP for Salisbury John Glen said he was "very pleased" that Porton Down was receiving the money. 

The money comes as an "expert partnership to explore and establish Human Challenge studies of COVID-19 in the UK" is set up. 

£33.6 million government investment will back the studies in partnership with Imperial College London, hVIVO and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

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