June 16, 2020 / 12:33 PM / 25 days ago

China's COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in human trials, CNBG says

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said on Tuesday its experimental coronavirus vaccine has triggered antibodies in clinical trials and the company plans late-stage human trials in foreign countries.

No vaccines have been solidly proven to be able to effectively protect people from the virus that has killed more than 400,000 people, while multiple candidates are in various stages of development globally.

The vaccine, developed by a Wuhan-based research institute affiliated to CNBG’s parent company Sinopharm, was found to have induced high-level antibodies in all inoculated people without serious adverse reaction, according to the preliminary data from a clinical trial initiated in April involving 1,120 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59.

CNBG said it is proactively seeking opportunities for late-stage and large-scale Phase 3 trials overseas.

“[We] have secured cooperative intent with companies and institutes in many countries,” the company said in a statement.

State media reported that the vaccine candidate, along with a different experimental shot developed by Sinopharm’s unit, has been offered to Chinese employees at state-owned firms travelling overseas as developers seek more data on their efficacy.

China has five vaccine candidates for COVID-19 in human trials, the most in any country.

China’s vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech (Sinovac) released over the weekend positive preliminary clinical trial results for its potential vaccine candidate, which is expected to be tested in a Phase 3 trial in Brazil.

(The story refiles to add Singapore dateline).

Reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing and Miyoung Kim in Singapore. Editing by Peter Graff and Louise Heavens

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