ImmunityBio, an El Segundo biotech company headed by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, said Thursday it had received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin preliminary testing of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Hoag Hospital Newport Beach will start recruiting 35 adult volunteers this month for the Phase 1 trial, which is designed to monitor the safety and possible side effects of the vaccine. Dosages will vary per candidate and be administered in two shots three weeks apart, the company said in a news release.