atthew White, chief commercialisation partner at Frontier IP, which supports the Vaccine Group, said: “It is impressive to see the speed with which the team has developed these vaccine candidates.

“Based on previous work with the same vaccine delivery platform we are hopeful that animal trials will demonstrate positive results.”

Separately, a study in pigs has shown that two doses of a coronavirus vaccine candidate produce a greater antibody response than a single dose.

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, is currently undergoing human trials and it is hoped an effective vaccine could be ready later this year.

Previous research indicated that macaques were protected against lung disease after a single immunisation.

Researchers said the finding in pigs is important as it suggests that two doses of the new vaccine could potentially give significantly more protection in humans than a single dose.

But they said further research in humans is required.

Professor Bryan Charleston, director of the Pirbright Institute, said: “These results look encouraging that administering two injections with the same vaccine boosts antibody responses that can neutralise the virus, but it is the response in humans that is important.

“The pig has proved to be a valuable model for testing human vaccines for other diseases to give an indication of the type of immune response induced and testing different doses.

“Pigs are more physiologically similar to humans than some other animal models — for example, their body weight and metabolic rate — and are more accessible than studies using non-human primates.”

The Independent