Canadian researchers are working with China to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries concider a deal to produce the vaccine in Canada for clinical trials and emergency use. Specifically, China’s CanSino Biologics, purportedly the first biotech to get their vaccine candidate to Phase II clinical trials, is collaborating with Canada’s National Research Council. This Canadian federal agency reports it will “scale up” production of CanSino Biologics’ known as Ad5-nCoV at a government facility in Montreal, Quebec. CanSino Biologics will produce a trial application for Canada’s drug regulatory Health Canada.
The First to Phase II
As TrialSite News reported, CanSino Biologics was purportedly the first biotech company to progress its vaccine candidate, known as Ad5-nCoV, to Phase II clinical trials. Working in alliance with the government-backed Academy of Military Medical Sciences’ Institute of Biotechnology, the private-public partnership sought to progress the vaccine ahead of the competitive global pack. Of course U.S. government-back Moderna, not to mention University of Oxford’s vaccine, are in hot pursuit.
Why Isn’t Canada part of Strategic ACTIV?
Interestingly, the NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and colleagues recently published an article in Science discussing the need for public-private partnerships to progress multiple vaccine candidates. As part of a call for a multi-national collaborative research “enterprise,” the NIH authors mentioned the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program. This U.S. led endeavor included federal agencies such as HHS, FDA, BARDA, VA and DOD as well as the European Medicines Agency, but not America’s neighbor and traditional ally to the north—Canada. Note that next to China, Canada is the United States’ number one trading partner.
About CanSino Biologics
Traded under the symbol 6185, CanSino Biologics position themselves as an innovative biopharmaceutical company dedicated to exploring the best solutions to the prevention of diseases through cutting-edge research and development, advanced manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative vaccine products for human use worldwide. See investor information here.
Founded in 2009 in Tianjin, China, the company has experienced tremendous growth and now counts up to 450 employees. They have developed one approved Ebola vaccine called Ad5-EBOV and 16 vaccine candidates in the product pipeline. They are listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEx) since March 2019.
Their executives come with considerable broad-based experience in the business of drug development—senior management have previously helped positions at major Western drug companies including Sanofi Pasteur, AstraZeneca, Wyeth (Pfizer), not to mention Chinese firms such as CNBG. They have developed the following key platform technologies: adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine, conjugation, protein structure design and recombination, and vaccine formulation technologies.
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