Scientists in western Turkey began Tuesday lab tests of an antigen they designed as a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
The research work is being conducted jointly by the Drug Development and Pharmacokinetic Research Application Center (ARGEFAR) at Izmir's Ege University and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
A total of 32 scientists specializing in different branches came together to conduct the studies.
One of the researchers, Dr. Mert Doskaya, told Anadolu Agency that the design of the antigen, which is the first phase of the vaccine effort, was completed in a week.
The Vaccine Research and Development Group of the university will test the antigen and move on to the second phase, Doskaya said.
Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), he added that more than 50 research centers around the world are trying to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.
"In fact, studies in Turkey are at a similar stage with them.
"Five of these are in the clinical stage, meaning the first human experimentations have begun, and the rest are preparing for animal tests," said Doskaya.
He underlined that the Turkish team planned to determine the effectiveness of the DNA vaccine they created and apply them to an animal model within four months, adding that they hoped to begin human clinical trials as soon as possible.