China has approved phase 1 trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by the country’s military in collaboration with two Chinese companies.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is working on the messenger RNA-based vaccine in partnership with Suzhou Aibo Biotechnology and Yunnan Walvax Biotechnology.
No mRNA-based vaccine has ever been approved for any disease.
Pfizer and BioNTech last month began a trial of an mRNA vaccine in Germany – the first potential COVID-19 vaccine to enter human trials in that country. BioNTech is in a separate collaboration with Fosun Pharma to commercialize the vaccine in China (DID, April 30).
The PLA vaccine is the eighth from China to be tested in humans. Last week, Chinese drugmaker Clover Biopharmaceuticals began a phase 1 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Australia (DID, June 22). — Jordan Williams