BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Saturday approved human testing for a possible coronavirus vaccine cultivated within insect cells, in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
China is in the global race to develop cost-effective vaccines to curb the COVID-19 epidemic.
Using insect cells to develop proteins for the coronovirus vaccine – the first in China – could trigger mass production, the Chengdu city government said in a notice on social media WeChat.
The notice states that the vaccine developed by West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu has received approval from the National Medical Products Administration to enter clinical trials.
When tested on monkeys, the vaccine was shown to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, with no obvious side effects.
Chinese scientists are already working on at least eight other potential coronavirus vaccines, which have entered various stages of clinical trials.
Foreign players including Bioentech from Germany (BNTX.O) And Innovio Pharma (INO.O) In the United States, has collaborated with local firms to test their experimental vaccines in China.
Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Yu Lun Tian; Editing by Mark Potter