China has joined the global race for Covid-19 vaccine development. CanSino Biologics released results of initial trials conducted for their candidate that showed positive results in terms of safety and inducing an immune system response.
However, there might be obstacles in the way of moving forward with the trials, especially for phase 3, which is one of the final stages that need to be completed in order to gain approval from regulatory authorities and form a comprehensive conclusion about the overall safety and efficacy of the developed vaccine.
Phase 3 trials will need a massive population of volunteers both healthy and infected to be conducted. China has been managing the second wave threat quite well and does not currently have enough active cases to serve as subjects for the trial. This poses a need for the developers to outsource their needs, meaning they would have to take the trial outside China and get volunteers elsewhere. But even if they manage to do so, the lack of medical professionals to facilitate the research process also poses a hindrance.
The Director-General of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Jerome Kim, says that the pharmaceutical companies in China will definitely need to bring the research out of the country and the move to set up in a high-risk nation will define the success of the vaccine development.
Vaccine issues that have come up before might also contribute to the hesitation of others to take part in the process of making the vaccine.
Sinovac Biotech conducted its phase 3 trials in Brazil, making it the third vaccine in the world to enter the final phase beginning Tuesday, July 21. 9,000 medical frontliners from six Brazilian states are the subjects of the study. Two doses of CoronoVac, as they call it, will be given to the participants in a span of three months. If proven successful, the company will mass produce 120 million units of the vaccine.
Sinopharm’s inactivated virus vaccine has proven effective in combating several strains of the Coronavirus via the generation of antibodies, having only slight side effects. Phase 3 trials of the vaccine are to be conducted in the United Arab Emirates, with 15,000 volunteers allowed to take part though only 5,000 are to be taken in initially.
CanSino is also set to have the third phase of their trials albeit gaining approval from the Chinese government for the vaccine to be used on the military personnel.
The third phase of trials just before regulatory affairs is the most crucial stage of any drug development process. There is a huge need for volunteers and medical experts to be able to pull off the research.
Chinese developers are having a hard time in the research because they do not have access to many medical facilities. Despite US President Donald Trump expressing his willingness and being open to collaborate with nations that are making vaccines but China has been an exception to that, what with all the controversy surrounding the relationship between the two countries.