CanSino Biologics Inc. said it received Chinese regulatory approval to start human trials of a vaccine against the new coronavirus COVID-19, another example of a potential weapon against the illness being fast-tracked for testing as the global death toll escalates and nations impose lockdowns on their citizens, as the Bloomberg news agency reports.
“You’re planning on administering it to a healthy person who may or may not ever be exposed to the infectious disease agent you’re trying to protect them against,” Rajeev Venkayya, President of the global vaccine unit at Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., stated.
Progress is occurring at unprecedented speed in developing vaccines as the highly infectious pathogen that causes the respiratory ailment known as Covid-19 looks unlikely to be stamped out through containment measures alone. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is pressuring American drugmakers to develop a vaccine: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. received regulatory approval to move quickly to human trials last week, skipping the years of animal trials that are the norm in developing vaccines.
CanSino’s trial involves injecting the experimental vaccine into 108 healthy adults, aged 18 to 60, in three different doses, according to data from the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry. Tests will start this month and continue through year’s end. The vaccine was tested on animals and proven safe and capable of eliciting immunity against the virus, CanSino said in its statement.
As of morning on March 18, 24 people were hospitalized in Lviv with suspicion for coronavirus. The samples were sent to Kyiv.