The government will invest an additional £ 84 million in the hunt for a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease Covid-19.
Business Secretary announced the new money during the daily briefing of Downing Street on Sunday afternoon.
He said part of the money would go to the two ongoing front-running trials conducted by Oxford University and Imperial College London.
But he said that while the government has now invested over £ 250 million in the hunt for a vaccine, one may never be found.
He said the money would also be used to mass-produce any successful vaccine – with Astra Zeneca ready to partner with Oxford University to produce 30 million doses in September and 100 million in total.
Sharma said the UK would receive the vaccine first.
He also said six drugs are currently being tested to see if they can help treat coronavirus.