Sinovac Biotech has said that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine generated immune response in patients during preliminary studies. The Beijing-based company is working on a coronavirus vaccine named CoronaVac. The company said the vaccine candidate induced neutralizing antibodies in more than 90 percent of people tested 14 days after receiving two injections two weeks apart. The company said that there were no side effects.

Sinovac's preliminary results came from a 600-patient, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study. It is also conducting a 143-patient, placebo-controlled Phase One study.

Coronavirus Vaccine
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More than two dozen companies are in a race to develop a potential coronavirus vaccine. Back in May, Moderna announced early immune-response results. But some vaccine experts criticized the biotech company for not revealing detailed data.

Short on Details

Sinovac's Saturday announcement also fell short of details about the extent of CoronaVac's efficacy and safety. The company expects to submit its report on the Phase 2 study soon. Also, it will submit a design protocol for a Phase 3 clinical trial to China's Food and Drug Administration authority. Previously, Sinovac announced its collaboration with a Brazilian drugmaker to begin a Phase 3 clinical study, reported Stat News.

The company's CEO, Weidong Yin, said that its phase 1/2 study showed CoronaVac was safe and induced an immune response. The company is also building a manufacturing facility to maximize the production of doses, he added.

Beijing Outbreak

CoronaVac uses an inactive version of the novel coronavirus (SARC-CoV-2). The same company used this technology earlier to make approved vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis A and B, swine flu, avian flu and hand, foot, and mouth disease.