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Sinovac vaccine triggered an immune response in more than 90% of patients in early human tests

New hope for a coronavirus vaccine as Chinese company Sinovac’s shot triggered an antibody response in more than 90% of patients, early data suggests

  • Sinovac Biotech Ltd, based in Beijing, China, has developed a vaccine called CoronaVac that uses a dead strain of the coronavirus
  • Phase I tested safety, with none of the participants reporting any severe side effects from the shot
  • More than 90% of participants in Phase II, who received two jabs over 14 days, generated neutralizing antibodies
  • The company is filing paperwork to begin Phase III trials in both China and international countries, the last step before it is approved for public use 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A Chinese company is reporting positive early data from human trials of its vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus.

Sinovac Biotech Ltd, based in Beijing, says its immunization is safe and capable of triggering an immune response.

The vaccine, called CoronaVac, induced neutralizing antibodies in more than 90 percent of trial participants two weeks after they received the jab.

What’s more, none of the patients reported severe side effects, according to a press release from Sunday.  

Sinovac Biotech Ltd, based in Beijing, China, has developed a vaccine called CoronaVac (pictured) that uses a dead strain of the novel coronavirus

Sinovac Biotech Ltd, based in Beijing, China, has developed a vaccine called CoronaVac (pictured) that uses a dead strain of the novel coronavirus

No participants reported severe side effects and, in phase II, more than 90% of participants who received two jabs over 14 days generated neutralizing antibodies. Pictured: Scientists research a coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac facilities in Beijing, April 29

No participants reported severe side effects and, in phase II, more than 90% of participants who received two jabs over 14 days generated neutralizing antibodies. Pictured: Scientists research a coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac facilities in Beijing, April 29 

The trial, conducted at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in eastern China, was randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled.

So far, 743 healthy participants between ages 18 to 59 have either received shots on two schedules or a placebo.

Of that total, 143 volunteers are participating in Phase I, testing the safety of the immunization, which is a dead strain of the virus.

The remaining adults are in Phase II, seeing if antibodies would be triggered after being given two shots in 14 days.

A spokesman for the company says another group in the study will be given the shots on a 28-day interval to see if that is more effective. 

‘Our Phase I/II study shows CoronaVac is safe and can induce immune response,’ Sinovac CEO, chairman and president Weidong Yin said in a statement.

‘Concluding our Phase I/II clinical studies with these encouraging results is another significant milestone we have achieved in the fight against COVID-19.’

Weidong said Sinovac has started building a manufacturing facility to prepare to begin making doses if further trials show success and if the vaccine is approved.

‘Like with our other vaccines, we are committed to developing CoronaVac for global use as part of our mission of supplying vaccines to eliminate human diseases,’ he said. 

Sinovac is preparing to soon submit its Phase II results and plans for Phase III trials to China’s National Medical Products Administration as well as applications for Phase III trials in international countries. 

Last week, the company announced it was partnering with São Paulo-based Instituto Butantan to begin Phase III CoronaVac trials in Brazil.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 130 trials around the world in various stages of development for a vaccine against COVID-19.

Sinovac is one of five Chinese companies that have reached human testing, the last step before it is approved for public distribution. 

Moderna also announced this month it has finalized protocols for its Phase III clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, expected to begin in July. 

In the US, there are more than two million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 115,000 deaths.

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