Among a long list of biopharma companies developing vaccines against the novel coronavirus, China’s CanSino Biologics and Massachusetts-based Moderna Therapeutics are so far the frontrunners.
CanSino Bio and its collaborators at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences’ Institute of Biotechnology secured a quick Chinese regulatory go-ahead to start human testing of their recombinant coronavirus vaccine, the company said in a disclosure to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
CanSino’s candidate, dubbed Ad5-nCoV, uses its adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine platform. In 2017, the same technology helped the company earn a Chinese nod for its Ebola vaccine, which was the first Ebola shot approved anywhere based.
The new phase 1 trial will be conducted in healthy adults 18 to 60 years of age in Wuhan, China, which was first to report cases of the current SARS-CoV-2 virus. Investigators plan to divide 108 participants into three groups to receive different doses of the vaccine, according to information posted on the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry.
According to CanSino, preclinical results showed that the vaccine can induce a strong immune response in animal models, with a good safety profile.