Chinese researchers launch phase-2 human test for possible coronavirus vaccine
BEIJING, June 21 (Reuters). Chinese researchers began a second phase of human experimentation with a possible coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, the Institute of Medical Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) said to further evaluate efficacy and safety.
Approximately a dozen vaccines are at various stages of human testing worldwide, as the World Health Organization warns that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating and "the world is in a new and dangerous phase".
However, none of the vaccine studies have passed extensive late-stage phase 3 clinical trials. This is a necessary step before regulatory approval for the sale is issued.
IMBCAMS launched a phase 2 human test on Saturday for its experimental shot, which is one of the six possible vaccines that Chinese scientists are testing on humans. This emerges from an ongoing phase 1 study in which around 200 participants have participated since May, the institute announced on Sunday on its social media channel.
The phase 2 study determines the shot dose and continues to investigate whether the potential vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people.
IMBCAMS expects to use a coronavirus vaccine manufacturing facility this year to prepare for China's future vaccine supply.
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said last month that certain groups of people with special needs could use experimental vaccines in urgent circumstances as early as late 2020.
The corona virus, first discovered in China in late 2019, infected 8.81 million people worldwide and killed more than 460,000 people.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Se Young Lee in Beijing; editing by Michael Perry)
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