The World Health Organisation says a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is needed to fully halt the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 114,000 people worldwide.
To these ends, China has now has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus that killed over 100,000 people worldwide, state media Xinhua reported today.
The vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech, and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.
In March, China also approved a another clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by military-backed China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and HK-listed biotech firm CanSino Bio.
“Our global connectedness means the risk of re-introduction and resurgence of COVID19 will continue,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva.
“Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission.”
Meanwhile, The effectiveness of a University of Queensland (UQ) vaccine against the coronavirus is about to be tested in a biosecurity facility in the Netherlands.
The vaccine will be used on live coronavirus for the first time to determine how effectively it induces protection against infection.
UQ’s vaccine program co-leader Dr Keith Chappell says the trial will establish a critical package of data ahead of human clinical trials later this year.
Clinical studies will be conducted by Viroclinics Xplore, which offers myriad pre-clinical tests including toxicology of drugs, antibodies, and antivirals targeting viral infectious diseases.
UQ created COVID-19 in its laboratory and then set about designing a vaccine to combat the virus.
The vaccine locks the “spike” protein into a shape that allows the immune system to be able to recognise and neutralise it.
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