A SCOTTISH scientist who is in charge of a US team who are developing a coronavirus vaccine has said a jab could be ready for human testing next month.

Dr Kate Broderick, originally from Dunfermline, heads up a team of scientists in the US aiming to fast-track a Covid-19 vaccine.

The 42-year-old stressed developing a vaccine was still a “long process" but she said she was “very excited” by the results so far.

She works as senior vice-president of research and development at biotech company Inovio.

Dr Broderick said it first received a genetic sequence of the coronavirus from the Chinese government on January 11, then set about designing a DNA-based medicine against the virus.

She told STV: “We completed that in approximately three hours and immediately synthesised the piece of DNA in coding the vaccine and have put that into manufacturing.

“In the past two months have started testing that vaccine in the laboratory and we’ve been very excited by the results that we’ve generated thus far.

“Those results are going to be used as the foundation for taking this vaccine into human clinical testing which we hope to start in April, next month.”

Inovio also worked on vaccines for Ebola and the Zika virus, a disease mainly spread by mosquitoes.

Dr Broderick said: “In my own career, the fastest we had ever achieved a vaccine development from receiving the virus sequence to putting it into a patient in clinical testing was for Zika.

“We did that in seven months and at that time we felt that was an amazing accomplishment.

“Compare that to what we’re trying to do for [coronavirus], where we’re trying to do the same in four months, we’ve really pulled out all the stops to try to get this vaccine ready as fast as possible on the basis that there’s really this critical need at the moment.”