China's CanSino in talks with other countries, including Russia, Brazil, to launch Phase III trial of COVID-19 vaccine
CanSino's COVID-19 candidate, Ad5-nCov, became the first in China to move into human testing in March but is running behind other potential vaccines in terms of trial progress.
Chinese vaccine developer CanSino Biologics is in talks with Russia, Brazil, Chile, and Saudi Arabia to launch a Phase III trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, its co-founder said on Saturday.
China’s success in driving down COVID-19 infections has made it harder to conduct large-scale vaccine trials, and so far only a few countries have agreed to work with it.
“We are contacting Russia, Brazil, Chile, and Saudi Arabia (for the Phase III trial), and it’s still in discussion,” Qiu Dongxu, executive director and co-founder of CanSino, told an anti-viral drug development conference in Suzhou, in eastern China.
He said its Phase III trial was likely to start “pretty soon,” and the company plans to recruit 40,000 participants for the test.
Its COVID-19 candidate, Ad5-nCov, became the first in China to move into human testing in March but is running behind other potential vaccines in terms of trial progress.
Two experimental vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech and a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) are already approved for Phase III trials.
Qiu said its Phase II trial involving 508 people has yielded “much better” results than the Phase I about the safety and ability to trigger an immune response. He did not disclose specific evidence.
He said its new factory under construction in China will allow it to produce 100-200 million doses of coronavirus vaccines per year by early 2021.
China’s military, whose research unit is co-developing the vaccine candidate, approved its military use last month, while Sinopharm’s two experimental shots are offered to employees at state-owned firms traveling overseas.
Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the conference that Chinese construction groups overseas, in particular, are keen to take experimental vaccines.
He also said the discussion should start whether to launch emergency inoculation of experimental vaccines “right now.”
After slow start, China catches up on its vaccination drive; 80 percent of population to be inoculated by end of 2021
China is now doing what virtually no other country in the world can: harnessing the power and all-encompassing reach of its one-party system and a maturing domestic vaccine industry to administer shots at a staggering pace.
Kerala, West Bengal report negative wastage of COVID-19 vaccines in May, Jharkhand has highest, says govt data
Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra reported 7.08%, 3.95%, 3.91%, 3.78% 3.63% and 3.59% respectively
Joe Biden had announced that the US will share 75 percent of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile with countries through COVAX