The regional government of Queensland and the federal Australian Government have pledged a total of $13m to University of Queensland (UQ) to support the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

UQ’s Covid-19 vaccine was one of the first three candidates to receive funding from the Norwegian non-profit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in January. This partnership was extended to include California-based Dynavax Technologies in March.

CEPI injected up to $10.6m into UQ’s molecular clamp technology, which is patented by university-linked UniQuest.

The university hopes this new injection of funds will help cut the timeline for an effective vaccine against the Covid-19 pandemic from 18 months to one year. The researchers hope to initiate clinical trials by July.

The university’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences senior research fellow Dr Keith Chappell added: “The containment procedures being put in place within Australia and internationally will slow the spread of the virus and we want to use that time as effectively as possible.

“Accelerating our work to find a safe and effective vaccine brings us a step closer to translating a fundamental research discovery through to the full scale manufacture for the global populace.”