Researchers from Rome-based Takis Biotech believe that antibodies created after injecting mice can save lives around the world, and plan to carry out human trials this year.
Scientists in Italy claim they’ve discovered the world’s first vaccine that can neutralise coronavirus.
Researchers from pharmaceutical firm Takis Biotech believe antibodies created by mice can prevent humans getting the killer disease.
It comes as the UK’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, warned that a vaccine may never be found to halt the virus, which has claimed more than 258,000 lives worldwide.
The company’s chief executive, Luigi Aurisicchio, said: “As far as we know we are the first in the world so far to have demonstrated a neutralisation of the coronavirus by a vaccine.”
It is one of several around the world desperately scrambling to find a vaccine which can save lives.
Mr Aurisicchio told Italian news agency Ansa: “This is not a competition.
“If we join our forces and skills together, we can all win against coronavirus.”
Researchers injected mice with a cloned genetic code, and say they are encouraged by the results.
Five vaccine candidates led to a “strong antibody response” after 14 days, scientists claim, and two showed a particularly strong response.
Tests have so far been carried out at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, but the company needs the support of the Italian government and international partners to carry out clinical trials.
Earlier today Mr Hancock warned that Brits would “have to find a way to live with the virus” as there’s no guarantee a vaccine will be found.
He told Sky News: “If a vaccine can’t be found then we have to learn to find a way to live with this virus so that means getting the numbers down and holding them down through, for instance, mass-scale testing and then tracing the virus through a combination of technology and human contact tracers.”
Oxford University is currently trialling jabs on humans, and has previously claimed that a successful vaccine could be produced this year.