The University of Queensland (UQ) is confident it can develop a vaccine for the potentially deadly coronavirus in as few as 16 weeks are two more people in Brisbane are monitored for the virus.
Researchers from the university have been funded by an international organisation to use new rapid medical development technology to help create a vaccine for the new virus strain.
The virus, that’s spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected nearly 830 people and killed at least 25.
Dr Daniel Watterson, a senior research fellow at UQ, said the rush was on to develop a DNA-based vaccine.
“We’ve built this technology specifically for this type of response, so we’re quite confident we can actually target this type of pathogen,” Dr Watterson said.
The aim is to create a vaccine in just four months, with delivery of the vaccine then dependent on international agencies.
“We’re really under the pump now to see whether we can deliver, but we’ve already begun the initial stages which involves getting the DNA sequence and putting it into cells to produce the protein,” he said.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, or CEPI, engaged UQ to work on a vaccine, along with other international partners.
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