HALIFAX -- A Dartmouth pharmaceutical company developing a COVID-19 vaccine announced Thursday that it has received more funding from Ottawa for further testing and development of its vaccine candidate.

DPX-COVID-19 is designed to prevent the infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

"We greatly appreciate the recognition, financial support, and guidance from the Government of Canada," said Frederic Ors, Chief Executive Officer of IMV. "We believe it will provide the opportunity to potentially accelerate the late-stage clinical development of DPX-COVID-19 while ensuring the highest level of safety and likelihood of success."

Health Canada notified IMV that it would provide up to $5.4 million in funding to support clinical trials that are expected to start before the end of 2020. That brings the total IMV has received from government to $10 million.

"In consultation with Health Canada, IMV decided to combine its original Phase 1 and 2 studies into a single trial with the potential to accelerate the clinical development and the timeline of the overall project," IMV said in a news release.

The company also announced that it has partnered with a manufacturer that can produce several hundred million doses of DPX-COVID-19, if necessary.