The University of Cambridge announced on Wednesday that it could start the clinical trial phase of its possible COVID-19 vaccine in late fall or early next year due to the UK government's allocation of PS1.9 million ($2.5 million) to the scientific project.
"A Cambridge-developed vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 could begin clinical trials in the UK in late autumn or early next year, thanks to a PS1.9million award from the UK government," the university said in a statement.
If successful, the Cambridge vaccine candidate, which uses synthetic DNA and banks of genetic sequences of all known coronaviruses, should be safe for the widespread use and can be manufactured and distributed at a low cost, it added.
"Ultimately we aim to make a vaccine that will not only protect from SARS-CoV-2 but also other related coronaviruses that may spill over from animals to humans," Jonathan Heeney, head of the Laboratory of Viral Zoonotics at the University of Cambridge, said, as quoted in the statement.
According to Cambridge University, the proposed vaccine does not need to be stored in a cold environment, which would make transport and storage easier, particularly in developing countries, and can be delivered pain-free, via a simple jet of air.
Oxford University and Imperial College London are also working on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom.