Medicine giants reveal COVID-19 vaccines progress

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 17, 2020
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The Fosun Health booth showcases its medical equipment at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE). [Photo/VCG]

However, the Pfizer/BioNTech collaboration excludes China, which is already covered by BioNTech's existing arrangements with China's Fosun Pharma to commercialize the vaccine. learned from BioNTech that there are actually various vaccine candidates in developing, while its BNT162b1 has been used to vaccinate 144 people in China for a Phase I trial by early September with positive feedback. 

They are also working to start trial of a second candidate, BNT162b2, already announced by Pfizer, in China as soon as possible. The clinical trial application of the candidate in China was approved by China's National Medical Products Administration on Nov. 13, but the trial will not start until certain conditions are met, Fosun Pharma announced.

Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun International, hoped the candidate vaccine could hit shelves in China at the same time it becomes available in the United States and Europe, at a price that should be affordable and acceptable to most Chinese people. In March, Fosun agreed to pay $135 million to the vaccine's developer and for the exclusive right to commercialize it on the Chinese mainland, and in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

All these medicine giants displayed introductory texts and images about COVID-19 vaccine candidates at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), ending last week.

Another industry giant, AstraZeneca, revealed it is also working with its partner Kangtai Biological to develop, produce and commercialize AZD1222, a vaccine candidate co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-off company, Vaccitech, in China. "The vaccine is now in Phase III clinical trial globally, and we are waiting for the results. We hope that this vaccine can help patients in China," said Michael Lai, general manager of AstraZeneca China.

There was a safety incident in the U.K. involving at least one individual and a neurological-based response, however, the trial resumed after regulators in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, South Africa and Japan confirmed it was safe to do so.

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