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GSK executive wary of human challenge trials for COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: General view outside GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) headquarters in Brentford, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc GSK.L executive Thomas Breuer said on Tuesday he has "reservations" against human challenge trials as a tool for determining the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine candidates without a therapy for the infection.

The British government said last week it was working with partners on the potential for “human challenge” trials, in which volunteers are deliberately infected after receiving an experimental inoculation.

“Yes, younger people are far less likely to observe a severe disease, but it’s a little bit of a lottery.....so I have reservations in the current context,” Breuer, the British group’s chief medical officer for vaccines, said at the World Vaccines Congress Washington.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengalurul; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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