China to begin final testing for its Covid-19 vaccine trial in the UAE

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 24, 2020 Published on June 24, 2020

The China National Biotec Group (CNBG) on Tuesday said that it had received approval to run large scale Phase 3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates.

CNBG in a filing had said that it has received approval to conduct the final phase of human trials with volunteers in the UAE. It will partner with Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing firm G42 for trials and local production of the vaccine, Bloomberg reported.

CNBG, an affiliate of the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) has developed units of two potential vaccines for Covid-19 which has infected millions of people across the globe, Reuters reported.

The two shots developed by CNBG had previously been tested with 2,000 volunteers in phase I and II trials conducted in China. One of the vaccines had been declared safe while the data fro the second shot is expected to be released on June 28, Bloomberg reported.

The company had also offered voluntary shots of the vaccine to employees of Chinese state-run companies who are travelling for work overseas or are residing in high-risk areas in Beijing, the report said.

China is seeking to trial potential vaccines overseas because of a lack of new patients at home.

It had six different shots of vaccine candidates in human trials, however, none of them has passed the final test yet.

Apart from CNBG, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac Biotech are also testing its vaccine candidate on volunteers abroad. Clover’s candidate had begun human trials earlier this month with participants in Australia in an early study while Sinovac Biotech is expected to begin a Phase 3 trial in Brazil with 9,000 volunteers, Reuters reported.

Vaccines are required to pass the Phase 3 trials before being launched in the commercial markets. Other front-runners of vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus include the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc’s experimental vaccine which will be tested among 2,000 people in Brazil. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. is also likely to begin testing its vaccine candidate on 30,000 volunteers in the United States next month, Bloomberg reported.

Published on June 24, 2020
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