LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it would back human challenge studies to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines by exposing volunteers to the virus after they had received a vaccine candidate.

The government said it would invest 33.6 million pounds ($43.5 million) in the studies in partnership with Imperial College London, laboratory and trial services company hVIVO and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

If approved by regulators and the ethics committee, the studies would start in January with results expected by May 2021, the government said.

($1 = 0.7730 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Michael Holden)



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