BEIJING • Sinovac Biotech yesterday said its coronavirus vaccine is safe and capable of eliciting an immune response from human trials, suggesting the shot’s potential in defending against infection.
The Beijing-based company’s vaccine, called CoronaVac, has not caused severe side effects and more than 90 per cent of those administered with the shot on a 14-day interval have induced neutralising antibodies two weeks after inoculation, Sinovac said.
The preliminary findings come from trials of phases I and II in China. A total of 743 healthy people aged 18 to 59 received either shots on two schedules or a placebo.
More data will be uncovered from another group in the trial that received shots on a 28-day interval. Sinovac plans to publish its results in academic journals.
Using a killed version of the coronavirus, Sinovac’s vaccine is among five Chinese experimental shots that have reached the crucial final stage of human testing before they can be approved for public use.
The company announced a partnership this month with Instituto Butantan to conduct its phase III trial in Brazil, where the pathogen has caused the second-largest outbreak in the pandemic.
Since lockdowns and social distancing measures have helped to keep infection rates low in many countries, some of the world’s leading vaccine efforts are seeking to conduct phase III trials in places of active outbreaks to evaluate the effectiveness of their shots.
The authorities in Brazil have already given approval for late-stage trials for a vaccine co-developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, while the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna is set to go into phase III trials in the United States. BLOOMBERG