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The Financial Express
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CNBG, Sinovac find more countries to test coronavirus vaccines

Sinovac receives approval from Bangladesh and Turkey


| Updated: September 08, 2020 21:44:37


A booth displaying a coronavirus vaccine candidate from China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Beijing on Friday –Reuters Photo A booth displaying a coronavirus vaccine candidate from China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Beijing on Friday –Reuters Photo

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Sinovac Biotech Ltd said on Saturday they have each found two more countries to run late-stage clinical tests of their coronavirus vaccine candidates, as China steps up its efforts in the global race.

Serbia and Pakistan have agreed to participate in the Phase 3 trials of CNBG’s vaccine candidates while Sinovac has received approval from Bangladesh and Turkey. The two companies are seeking more data from overseas as new cases in China are dwindling, reports Reuters.

Serbia will test two vaccines developed by CNBG’s Wuhan and Beijing units, and Pakistan will test the Beijing unit’s candidate, the company told Reuters.

CNBG’s Phase 3 trials are expected to involve 50,000 people in about 10 countries, said CNBG vice president Zhang Yuntao. Trials have already begun in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Argentina and Jordan.

Zhang said foreign countries have expressed interest in ordering a combined 500 million doses of its vaccines.

CNBG is expected to be able to produce 300 million doses of vaccine a year once it upgrades manufacturing techniques, and is working on a plan to raise its annual capacity to 1 billion doses, Zhang said.

The company will soon begin providing its vaccines to Chinese staffers working in overseas embassies and consulates, he added.

Sinovac’s vaccine candidate CoronaVac, being tested in Brazil and Indonesia, also obtained approvals from Turkey and Bangladesh for Phase 3 trials, Sinovac CEO Yin Weidong told Reuters on Sunday.

While the final stage of trials are still underway to prove the vaccines are safe and effective, China has already authorised the vaccine candidates from Sinovac and CNBG for emergency use for those in high-risk groups such as medical workers.

Helen Yang, senior director of global strategy and business development at Sinovac, said several tens of thousands people have already taken CoronaVac through the emergency programme.

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