COVID-19 vaccine developer proposes building national biosafety science and industry innovation center

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 13:04:40

Researchers take part in a drill at P4 lab in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Xinhua

Top Chinese infectious disease expert Chen Wei, whose team developed a COVID-19 vaccine that recently showed promising early results as published on The Lancet, called for building of a national biosafety science and industry innovation center to promote biosafety development and to benefit the public.

Chen, also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), proposed the building of the center during this year's two sessions. 

"My proposal this year is to build a national biosafety science and industry innovation center. Decades of experience in research, especially the experience of Wuhan, make me feel that we have to achieve real innovation in the field of biosafety and quickly promote these achievements to benefit the public," Chen was quoted as saying in a program on China Central Television on Saturday. 

A research team led by Chen arrived in Wuhan on January 26 to support the local battle against COVID-19, setting up tent labs and testing platforms within 24 hours of their arrival. They developed testing kits and expanded local nucleic acid testing capacity to 1,000 people per day in the early days.   

On March 16, an adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccine developed by the team became the first domestically developed COVID-19 candidate vaccine to enter clinical trials. 

On May 22, the vaccine became the first in the world to disclose complete phase one clinical trial results and declare dual immune response in the recipient, representing a significant milestone in its results and boosting confidence for current and prospective volunteers in clinical trials. The results were released in medical journal The Lancet.

Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College and also a CPPCC member, called for the acceleration of an innovative system in medical science.

He proposed establishing a high level medical science academy to coordinate qualified sources and foster strategic forces in medical science, the Xinhua News Agency reported May 20. 

Yuan Zhiming, director of China's National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, called for an open and transparent international cooperation mechanism in biosafety. 

"Long-term research in different types of viruses should be continued to ensure a rapid response when a new virus occurs," Yuan was quoted as saying in the Xinhua report. 

Global Times  

Posted in: SOCIETY

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