Chinese company on the front of coronavirus vaccine race

Chinese company on the front of coronavirus vaccine race

Chinese firm CanSino is in the global spotlight for coronavirus vaccine

Tianjin-based Chinese pharmaceutical firm CanSino is reporting results Phase I of trials for its Coronavirus vaccine, amongst the first one to do so. The company was the first one to publish their human trials, paving way for other companies to review their clinical study. This lets the world to gauge the potential of the vaccine.

Phase I trials  

A total of 108 participants had good antibody and T-cell responses against the virus during the trial. According to Wei Chen, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, “these results represent an important milestone. The trial demonstrates that a single dose of the new adenovirus type 5 vectored COVID-19 (Ad5-nCoV) vaccine produces virus-specific antibodies and T cells in 14 days, making it a potential candidate for further investigation.”

While the vaccine helped in triggering an immune response during the trials, it will still take some time before it can be available for use at a larger scale.

Phase II trials

The company has started the second phase of trials on their vaccine for coronavirus. Currently, they are testing with lower and medium doses of the vaccine. The third phase of trials are expected to begin soon.

The company previously developed the vaccine for the Ebola virus and currently is producing vaccines for 13 of 16 infectious diseases. The company has kept pace with the pharmaceuticals companies in the western countries, and even have stayed ahead at times.

Unusual beginnings

The company was started by four pharmaceutical scientists working for well-known names in the industry. They met during a barbecue where many scientists from the field were available. They quit their jobs and started the company in Tianjin. Most of the scientists had some connection with China at the time and still work with the Canadian research institutes. Most of them still had families in Canada and they had to stay away from them. The hard work though paid off and the company went public in 2019.

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