A vaccine for coronavirus developed by a group of Chinese researchers has reached the human trial stage in China, and researchers hope to bring the testing to Canada, too, according to a recent statement by the National Research Council of Canada.
The vaccine, which is called Ad5-nCoV and developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and CanSino Biologics, was approved for Phase 1 human trials in China in mid-March.
But now the company is completing paperwork that would allow it to be tested in Canada. Health Canada would have to approve the trial as well, according to Global News.
According to the statement, the vaccine is the first one in the world to make it to the Phase 2 clinical trial stage, meaning that it presents no obvious major safety issues, and will now be evaluated for its ability to prevent COVID-19.
“It is one of only a handful of vaccine candidates in the world against COVID-19 so far approved for initial safety testing in humans,” the press release says.
“CanSino Biologics and the NRC are aiming to pave the way for future clinical trials in Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Immunization Research Network at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology,” the release reads.
The vaccine candidate was developed by using a line of cells from the NRC that has also been used in the past to create other vaccines, including one for Ebola.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told a UN Economic and Social Council video briefing Mondnay that the original idea was that it would take 12 to 18 months to come up with a viable vaccine. But he said an accelerated effort is underways, aided by 7.4 billion euros (C$11.2 billion) pledged a week ago by leaders from 40 different countries, organizations, and banks for research, treatment and testing.
Ghebreyesus added that $11.2 billion will not be enough, that additional funding will be required in order to speed up the effort to develop a vaccine but also, and perhaps more importantly, to produce enough "to make sure that this vaccine reaches everyone [and] there's no one be left behind."
“We have good candidates now,” Tedros said. “The top ones are around seven, eight. But we have more than a hundred candidates.
“We are focusing on the few candidates we have which can bring probably better results and accelerating those candidates with better potential,” he said.