BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s National Biotechnology Group (CNBG) has been approved to conduct a large-scale clinical trial in “Phase 3” of its new candidate for the coronavirus vaccine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the company said Tuesday.
China is trying to test possible vaccines abroad due to a lack of new patients at home.
More than a dozen experimental vaccines are being tested worldwide. None of them have successfully completed a final-stage “Phase 3” test to determine effectiveness in protecting healthy people from the virus, which has killed more than 470,000 people worldwide.
These trials involve thousands of participants and usually take place in countries where the virus is widespread, so the vaccine can be seen in a real life setting.
However, China, the origin of the global pandemic, reported fewer than 10 new local cases per day on average last month, and its researchers are now looking abroad.
CNBG announced the move in a Weibo social media post, without naming the vaccine to be tested in the UAE.
Units at CNBG, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), have developed two potential vaccines, which have been administered together to more than 2,000 people in previous tests in China.
Other Chinese companies looking to test vaccines abroad include Clover Biopharmaceuticals, whose vaccines have been administered to participants in Australia in an early study, and Sinovac Biotech.
(Report by Roxanne Liu and Se Young Lee in Beijing; Kevin Liffey edition)