China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Sinovac Biotech Ltd said on Saturday, September 5 that four more countries have come to an agreement to run phase three clinical trials of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
As reported Serbia and Pakistan are among the new countries ready to late-stage trials, as CNBG and Sinovac seek more data overseas amid diminishing cases of Coronavirus in China.
Serbia will test two COVID-19 vaccines developed by CNBG's Wuhan and Beijing units, while Pakistan has agreed to test the Beijing unit's vaccine candidate.
As per CNBG vice president Zhang Yuntao, the company's phase three trials are expected to include 50,000 people in about 10 countries. As reported, the trials have already started in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Argentina, Morocco, and Jordan. Zhang also explained that many countries outside China have also expressed interest in ordering a total of 500 million doses of the vaccines, developed by CNBG.
The Chinese biotech company is expected to be able to produce 300 million doses of novel Coronavirus vaccine a year once it upgrades manufacturing techniques. As per Zhang, the company is currently working on a plan to raise its annual capacity to one billion.
Sinovac's vaccine candidate CoronaVac—a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate based on an inactivated pathogen—is currently being tested in Brazil and Indonesia. Helen Yang, senior director of global strategy and business development at Sinovac recently said that the vaccine candidate has obtained approvals from two other countries for the phase three trials. But she declined to reveal the names of these countries.
However, as per the reports Sinovac Biotech had selected its Indonesian counterpart Bio Farma to run the clinical trial at a facility belonging to Padjadjaran University's Faculty of Medicine. On its first trial, around 20 out of 1,620 participants had taken the first shot of the CoronaVac. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, "Hopefully, we will be able to produce the vaccine in January 2021. Once the production is ready, [we can vaccinate] everyone in the country."
Even though final stage trials are still underway to ensure whether the vaccines are safe and effective, Beijing has authorized the CNBG and Sinovac vaccine candidates for emergency use for high-risk groups such as medical workers.
While Sinovac's Yang said that tens of thousands of people have already taken CoronaVac through the emergency program, CNBG will soon begin providing its vaccines to Chinese workers at the overseas embassies and consulates, said Zhang.