China clears CanSinoBIO COVID-19 vaccine for clinical trials

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Chinese vaccine developer CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO) said on Monday its potential COVID-19 vaccine using the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology has been approved by China‘s medical products regulator to enter clinical trials.

Unlike other major countries, China is yet to approve any foreign-made mRNA vaccines such as that produced by U.S.-German duo Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE.

Read more: COVID-19: Shanghai residents fed up with China’s strict lockdown policy as cases soar

With around 88% of its 1.4 billion population already vaccinated, China is trailing several domestically developed mRNA vaccine candidates, including one candidate that is being tested in a large, Phase 3 clinical trial.

CanSinoBIO said in a press release that studies before clinical trials had showed the candidate can elicit high-level neutralising antibodies against multiple variants, including Omicron.

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CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Limited said on Sunday that its potential mRNA COVID vaccine SYS6006 was cleared by China’s National Medical Products Administration to conduct clinical trials.

Read more: Testing positive weeks after a COVID-19 diagnosis: What it means for travel

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editng by Kenneth Maxwell)

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