CanSino's COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use in China

Henrietta Brewer
June 29, 2020

A Chinese pharmaceutical company has claimed that an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by it has shown positive results in human trials.

No vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use against the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

Swaminathan said, "at the moment, we do not have a proven vaccine but if we are lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year". A vaccine has to prove its effectiveness in "Phase 3" human test where thousands of participants are recruited in order to be cleared for sale.

More than half of the 17 candidate vaccines identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being at the clinical evaluation stage involve Chinese companies or institutes.

CanSino in a statement filed with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd on Monday said Ad5-nCoV won approval for clinical trials early in March.

The company has completed phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of the vaccine in China.

China's military has approved a coronavirus vaccine for use within its ranks. But for the U.S. or China, it would also be a massive geopolitical victory.

For China, it would also be about redemption, with the country's government having received fierce criticism for its delay in informing the world about the outbreak.

There are now 224 candidate vaccines in development globally, according to the data collected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

This is the CanSino Biologics-Beijing Institute of Biotechnology product using the "non-replicating viral vector" design. Responding to queries on leading vaccine candidates, Swaminathan said AstraZeneca has the largest global commitment and was the leading candidate in terms of timing.

Since first appearing in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

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