Cooperation of Two Chinese Pharma Launched Massive Clinical Trials Abroad
To defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect its workers against potential resurgences, Sinovac Biotech, headquartered in Beijing, China, announced that 90% of its employees and their families (2000-3000 participants) inoculated its experimental coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac voluntarily under China’s emergency program, launched in July. The program was intended for higher risk groups, including medical personnel, workers at food markets, and the transportation and service sectors’ employees. According to the publication last month, the adverse effects of the vaccine candidate were mild with symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and pain, involving 600 participants in a mid-stage trial. However, many factors seemed to impede the commercialization of the CoronaVac and thus China had to fight back with more legitimate data and strategic diplomacy.
Although the safety results demonstrated excellent tolerability of CoronaVac to the sample population, the data could not be utilized as main materials for regulation in judging the viability for commercial use due to the absence of registering the emergency program’s clinical study under clinical trial protocols. To retrieve legit clinical results, Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm were attempting to make deals on arranging clinical trials outside of China with countries such as Turkey, Bangladesh, Serbia and Pakistan. According to Yun-Tao Zhang, Vice President of Sinopharm, approximately 50,000 individuals from ten countries will be engaged in a Phase 3 trial of CoronaVac and countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Argentina and Jordan have already begun the trials. Besides, Sinopharm has placed an order of 500 million vaccines.
By Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
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