- 72 people have been vaccinated and entered the first phase of clinical trials.
- The two companies stated that they entered the first phase of clinical trials with permission of Chinese authorities
- There is another potential vaccine, BNT162b2 under of BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
German biotechnology company BioNTech and China’s Fosun Pharma announced on Wednesday that they have jointly developed human clinical trials of a potential new coronavirus vaccine in China. This potential vaccine named BNT162b1 is one of four potential vaccines developed based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology.
In a joint statement, the two companies stated that after obtaining permission from the relevant Chinese authorities, 72 people have been vaccinated and entered the first phase of clinical trials. Another potential vaccine numbered BNT162b2 has entered the third phase of clinical trials globally on July 27 under the auspices of BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
There are a total of 144 people in the first phase of the clinical trial in China, which will be vaccinated twice within 21 days. People between the ages of 18 and 55 will participate as the first batch, followed by older people.
Laboratories around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. So far, the new coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 700,000 people, leaving millions of lives without any means. At present, there are no fewer than 200 candidate vaccines under development, and about 24 are in clinical trials in volunteers.
In the global vaccine development competition, several Chinese companies are at the forefront. Russia said it hopes to become the world’s first country to produce a large-scale COVID-19 vaccine in September. However, the drugs in these two countries will face much stricter Western medical safety standards than their own regulatory agencies.
At present, in addition to the vaccine candidates provided by BioNTech/Pfizer, the other two western vaccine candidates that have entered the final third phase of clinical trials are from the American biotech company Moderna, National Institute of Health, and Oxford University, and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Russia Plans to Vaccinate
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko stated that Russia is preparing to develop a large-scale self-developed new coronavirus vaccine from October. Doctors and teachers will be the first people to be vaccinated.
Murashko said that the vaccine developed by the Moscow State Research Institute Gamaleya Institute has completed clinical trials and submitted it to regulatory agencies for registration. He said that about 800 people will participate in the third phase of clinical trials, and at the same time they will start production to achieve mass production and application.
Reuters quoted anonymous sources as saying that the vaccine will be approved by local regulators in August, and medical staff will be vaccinated shortly thereafter. This speed has caused some doubts, fearing that Moscow will ignore health and safety risks in order to win the vaccine race.
At present, more than 100 teams around the world are developing a new coronavirus vaccine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least four vaccines are undergoing Phase III clinical trials, including three vaccines developed in China and one vaccine developed in the UK. The Russian vaccine is currently in the second phase of clinical trials, and related trials are expected to end on August 3.
Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, compared the vaccine race to Russia’s successful satellite launch before the United States in 1959.
According to Russian scientists, the reason for the rapid development of the Gamaleya Institute is that the vaccine is improved on the basis of a vaccine against other diseases. Russian health officials said that data on vaccines will be released early next month.