The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid “challenge trials” – where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines.
It is understood the studies – first reported by the Financial Times – would be conducted in London.
The UK government said it was holding discussions about developing a vaccine through such “human challenge studies”.
No contracts have yet been signed, the BBC understands.
A spokesman for the government said: “We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a Covid-19 vaccine through human challenge studies.
“These discussions are part of our work to research ways