CanSino Biologics was at the very forefront of COVID-19 vaccines and is still in the top rung of contenders; however, due to a few different inhibiting factors, they’re now working to catch up with other companies that have engaged Phase 3 sites around the word. Now the company out of China has secured oil-rich Saudi Arabia to host it Phase 3 clinical trial for its Ad5-nCOV vaccine candidate.
COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia
Ranked 41st among the world’s nations in population at 34.8 million, Saudi Arabia is actually ranked 13th in COVID-19 cases with 288,690 as of this writing; with 3,167 deaths to date the mortality rate has been lower for COVID-19 patients in the Kingdom. According to the U.S. CDC, the COVID-19 risk factors are high in Saudi Arabia.
Slipping & Canada to Plan B
Although, back in the Spring, Ad5-nCoV was the first in China to progress to human testing but other vaccines from Sinovac and a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) have already commenced Phase 3 trials.
CanSino Biologics inked a promising national deal with Canada but in an embarrassing and still yet to be determined reason, the vaccine supply has been held up in Chinese customers stalling shipment to Canada. Since then, Canada has gone with a plan B. The drug may end up in Canada but it has been weeks.
Now this Phase 3 should start testing the harmless cold virus known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) that delivers the genetic material from the patient purportedly trigger the patient’s immune response.
The study will see up to 5,000 volunteers in Riyadh, Dammam, and Mecca, reports the Saudi state news agency SPA just Saturday, according to Reuters.