China National Biotec Group (CNBG) mentioned on Sunday that the results of the early human trials for a coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine candidate suggested that it can be safe and effective, the second vaccine candidate from the firm to show promising 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 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Showing Promise in Trials

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COVID-19 vaccine trial (Representational picture) Pixnio.com

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.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting around 10 million people globally and claiming the lives of nearly half a million people worldwide in more than 170 countries.

(With agency inputs)