Coronavirus pandemic

Chinese firm says vaccine candidate shows promise in human test

Chinese companies and researchers have been allowed to test eight vaccine candidates in humans at home and abroad.
Chinese companies and researchers have been allowed to test eight vaccine candidates in humans at home and abroad.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said yesterday that early human test results for a coronavirus vaccine candidate suggested it could be safe and effective, the second vaccine candidate from the firm to show encouraging results in a clinical trial.

The experimental shot, developed by a Beijing-based unit of CNBG, has induced high-level antibodies in all the inoculated participants in a phase 1/2 clinical trial involving 1,120 healthy people, according to preliminary data of the trial, CNBG said in a posting on the social media platform WeChat, without disclosing specific readings.

Chinese companies and researchers have been allowed to test eight vaccine candidates in humans at home and abroad, making China a major front runner in the race to develop a shot against the virus that has killed nearly 500,000 people globally.

CNBG, which is affiliated to the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group, said earlier this month that another vaccine candidate produced by its Wuhan-based unit had also triggered high-level antibodies safely in clinical trial participants based on preliminary results.

A vaccine has to prove its effectiveness in a phase 3 human test, where thousands of participants are recruited, in order to be cleared for sale.

CNBG said last Tuesday that it will run a phase 3 for its vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates, without specifying which shot will be tested.

REUTERS

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2020, with the headline 'Chinese firm says vaccine candidate shows promise in human test'. Subscribe