Cracking the COVID-19 Code

Three Brisbane scientists are edging closer to a vaccine for COVID-19, but there can be no cutting corners when millions of lives are at stake.

Keith Chappell came up with the idea to hijack the virus’s own fearsome infectious properties with revolutionary “molecular clamp” technology, and since January has worked around the clock with three colleagues.

After experimenting with 250 formulations, they settled on a candidate vaccine, S-Spike, which is being tested on laboratory mice at the University of Queensland as a prelude to human trials. 

To produce a vaccine for the world’s seven billion people means they “have to move to scale…It’s all about how much risk we are willing to accept,” Chappell said.

He stressed he was talking about commercial risk, and it looked like the vaccine was on track to be available by the end of the year, well ahead of the expected timetable.


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