COVID-19 vaccine: Sinovac announces positive preliminary results of clinical trials

ST Staff
Sunday, 14 June 2020

Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese biopharmaceutical firm, has partnered with Instituto Butantan in Brazil to advance its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac, into clinical trials in Phase III

With the ongoing rise of coronavirus cases, everyone in the world have tied their hopes for a vaccine that would at least curb the spread of the virus. Many research institute are working day and night to develop the vaccine. 

Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese biopharmaceutical firm, has partnered with Instituto Butantan in Brazil to advance its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac, into clinical trials in Phase III.

CoronaVac is an inactivated candidate for the vaccine that showed promising safety profile and offered protection to rhesus macaques monkeys in a preclinical study published in the journal Science.

The National Medical Products Administration of China (NMPA) has granted Sinovac the approval to conduct phase I / II clinical trials in the country. The purpose of these trials is to assess the safety, tolerance, dosage and immunization schedule of the candidate vaccine.

The vaccine did not cause severe side effects in more than 90 per cent of the people to whom it was given. The trial was conducted over an interval of 14 days. Within two weeks of being administered, the vaccine successfully produced neutralizing antibodies.

These claims are based on findings of the trials, conducted in China, from phase I and II. A total of 743 healthy people were given the shots on two schedules or a placebo between the ages of 18 and 59. In the trial that received the shot at an interval of 28 days, more data will be revealed from another group. Sinovac plans to publish the study results in academic journals according to a com

The CoronaVac is one of the five experimental vaccines in China which has reached the stage of human trials before any of them is authorized for public use.

In the meantime, the company is building a commercial vaccine manufacturing plant in China with the aim of producing up to 100 million CoronaVac doses annually.

The Instituto Butantan has agreed to sponsor Phase III trials of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Brazil under the latest clinical development collaboration agreement.

A Sinovac spokesman said it will require regulatory approval in Brazil before the trial is conducted.

Once approved, the trial involving 9,000 people will kick off in July with Sinovac and the Instituto Butantan. The Brazilian drugmaker will have the Chinese vaccine licensed and made available in the country of South America, Sinovac has said.

Governor Joao Doria, of Sao Paulo, said at a press conference that Instituto Butantan had signed an agreement with Sinovac on technology transfer.

If the studies are successful, the distribution of the vaccine is expected by June of next year.

Last week, Sao Paulo State University said a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University will be assessed in 2,000 Brazilian volunteers starting mid of this month.

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