Beijing: China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said on Sunday 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, affiliated to the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), said earlier this month that another vaccine candidate produced by its Wuhan-based unit also triggered high-level antibodies safely in clinical trial participants based on preliminary results. 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. CNBG said on Tuesday it will run a Phase 3 for its vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates, without specifying which shot will be tested.
Beijing Tests a Third of City’s Population
Beijing has ramped up coronavirus testing efforts and has tested about a third of the Chinese capital’s population so far, a city official said on Sunday, as authorities seek to control an outbreak stemming from a wholesale market in mid-June.
As of Sunday noon, Beijing had collected 8.29 million patient samples for testing and completed 7.69 million tests, Zhang Qiang, an official from Beijing’s municipal committee, told a press conference.
“This means we have already tested all the people that need to be tested. We are also rolling out large scale screening to key regions and key populations (of the city) and improve our capability of testing,” said Zhang, adding that Beijing was also receiving medical support from other provinces.