New trial results released by the team behind one of Australian’s leading coronavirus vaccine candidates show it is safe and “likely to provide protection” against COVID-19.

Scientists from the University of Queensland (UQ) released information late on Tuesday night about its vaccine’s pre-clinical trials, showing it triggered the immune system to protect against the disease.

The UQ vaccine, which uses what is known as “molecular clamp” technology, is different to the Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine which the Australian Government signed a “letter of intent” with last week.

The UQ candidate has been conducting human trials since early July, and although it is behind the Oxford University candidate in the testing process, it is considered by most experts to be the most promising of the handful of Australian vaccines under development.

The results released on Tuesday night relate to its earlier trail with hamsters. The UQ team gave doses of its vaccine to the animals and then exposed them to coronavirus to test whether the drug provoked the desired immune response.

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