China to help push progress of R&D for COVID-19 vaccine

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/26 22:03:41

Nation to help push progress of R&D for COVID-19 vaccine

Zhu Aobing takes his vaccine injection on March 19 in Wuhan. Photo: Courtesy of Zhu Aobing

As Covid-19 continues to spread worldwide, more Chinese vaccine suppliers can participate in the research and development (R&D) into vaccines, helping to prevent and control the pandemic on a global scale, insiders said on the sidelines of the annual two sessions.

"The virus knows no borders. Many of the vaccines entering clinical trials around the world were developed in China, so we need to make contributions to the prevention and control of the pandemic by carrying out international cooperation and participating in international clinical research," said Zhu Tao, co-founder and chief scientific officer of CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO), an innovative biopharmaceutical company.

At a crucial stage of global pandemic prevention and control, China's vaccine R&D capabilities have shown an outstanding sense of mission and responsibility.

Five of the 10 COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials around the world have been developed by Chinese teams, Zhu, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in a copy of the proposal the Global Times obtained on Tuesday.

CanSinoBIO' phase-one human trials have found that the company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate generated an immune response against COVID-19, and there is sufficient evidence to encourage further study, a company statement said on Monday.

The vaccine, Ad5-nCoV, was approved to enter phase-one trials in March. It was co-developed by CanSinoBIO and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology. It was the first vaccine candidate to enter phase-two trials, which test low doses (50 billion virus particles) and medium doses (500 billion virus particles).

However, there are issues to be tackled first before further achievements can be expected in the international collaboration to create a vaccine.

Some enterprises do not have good experience in clinical implementation of the drug registration requirements and procedures in other countries.

Meanwhile, to achieve collaboration, it's necessary for drug supervision authorities in both the country where the clinical trial is conducted and China to reach unanimous agreement on all kinds of clinical scenarios and make sure the final clinical trials can be recognized, according to Zhu.

"Such a complex process requires a certain organizational capacity to complete, and relying on a single enterprise to go out in a short period of time is difficult to achieve," Zhu said.

Chinese companies have actively participated in building a global vaccine industry chain. Fosun Pharma and Germany's BioNTech, for example, signed a partnership on March 16, which involves both an investment in Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co as well as a distribution agreement.

Newspaper headline: Nation to help push progress of R&D for COVID-19 vaccine


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