The study is being carried out in collaboration with the Imperial College in London and the pharmaceutical research institute hVivo. The study is being financed, among other things, by the British government, which provided the equivalent of 38.9 million euros. This also finances the compensation for the test persons. The exact amount is still unknown. In any case, as a first step, 90 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 should be specifically infected. Before that, however, they have to go through a detailed health check. The researchers then want to observe, among other things, how the immune system reacts to a certain viral load. It is also being investigated how the virus particles are released into the environment. Later on, the study will help develop vaccines, among other things. In this way, new agents can be tested very efficiently because significantly fewer test subjects are required.
Initially, however, only the classic pathogen that has spread worldwide over the past year will be examined. The significantly more contagious mutation B.1.1.7, however, is not part of the study. To ensure the safety of the participants, the test subjects are also monitored by doctors around the clock. To what extent the results can actually be used is controversial. Because such studies can only be carried out in young and healthy people. The results cannot therefore necessarily be applied to all population groups. With the coronavirus in particular, however, it is above all old and chronically ill people who are particularly at risk. In addition, an infection in the laboratory is by no means equivalent to an infection in the wild. This is another reason why the results cannot be easily transferred. Ultimately, despite these disadvantages, the researchers in Great Britain decided to set up the experiment.