Early tests of a potential COVID-19 vaccine have shown promising results against the virus, a team of researchers in Queensland said.

Pre-clinical tests by academics at the University of Queensland found that the vaccine can raise the level of antibodies that can neutralise the virus.

The project’s co-leader Professor Paul Young said the results suggest the vaccine worked as anticipated.

“We were particularly pleased that the strength of the antibody response was even better than those observed in samples from COVID-19 recovered patients,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This is what we were hoping for, and it’s a great relief for the team given the tremendous faith placed in our technology by CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation), federal and Queensland governments and our philanthropic partners.”

The final results from the pre-clinical tests are expected to be ready by early June before clinical trials can start.

Professor Kanta Subbarao of the Doherty Institute, which is working with the university, said the finding was “very important” because animal testings for SARS vaccines showed similar immune responses and led to protection from infection.

A separate coronavirus vaccine trial is also set to take place in Perth.

The potential vaccine COVID-19 S-Trimer has been developed by China-based biotechnology company Clover Biopharmaceuticals and will be trialled by Perth-based Linear Clinical Research.

Linear will be recruiting healthy adults as volunteers for the first phase of the trial within the next two months.

This article originally appeared on Over60.