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.

Reuters July 12, 2020 11:04:19 IST
China's CanSino in talks with other countries, including Russia, Brazil, to launch Phase III trial of COVID-19 vaccine

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.”

There are no approved vaccines yet for COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, which has killed more than half a million people globally.

Updated Date:

also read

China holds fresh military drills around Taiwan, deploys fighter jets and ballistic missiles
World

China holds fresh military drills around Taiwan, deploys fighter jets and ballistic missiles

Analysts have described the drills as practice for a blockade and ultimate invasion of the self-ruled island that China claims as its territory. The exercises had been expected to draw to a close on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion

'No use worrying': Tourists in Taiwan carry on amid the flurry of Chinese military activity
World

'No use worrying': Tourists in Taiwan carry on amid the flurry of Chinese military activity

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are at their highest in decades as Beijing rages against a visit to Taipei earlier this month by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Taiwan won't back down, continue to hold line of defence for democracy, says Tsai Ing-wen as China preps military drills
World

Taiwan won't back down, continue to hold line of defence for democracy, says Tsai Ing-wen as China preps military drills

China has been gearing up for military drills in retaliation for the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan