China’s first patent for a COVID-19 vaccine has been granted by the country’s National Intellectual Property Administration.
The patent was jointly applied for by a research team with the Academy of Military Sciences and CanSino Biologics Inc., a Chinese high-tech biopharmaceutical company, said a report in People’s Daily.
The team led by Chen Wei, a Researcher at the Institute of Military Medicine under the academy, developed the recombinant COVID-19 vaccine, with the modified defective adenovirus as the vector.
In March, the vaccine became the first in China to be approved to enter clinical trials.
According to the patent abstract, the vaccine shows good immunogenicity in both mouse and guinea pig models and can induce strong cellular and humoral immune response in a short period of time.
It can be produced quickly on a large scale to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak.
The vaccine has now finished phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trials, which have verified its safety and immunogenicity, said the report.
South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand on Monday, August 17, 2020 started the second COVID-19 vaccine trial in the country, said the institution.
Shabir Madhi, Executive Director of the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA) at Wits and the Faculty of Health Sciences Dean-elect said.
Madhi said that he would lead the Phase II trial of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine, which is produced by U.S.-based biotech company Novavax.
Madhi said the trial will enroll up to 2,904 volunteers aged 18-64 years and evaluate if the ”nanoparticle S-protein”, in the COVID-19 vaccine protects against the disease in these age group.
“The major motivation for COVID-19 vaccines being evaluated at an early stage in South Africa is to generate evidence in the African context on how well these vaccines work in settings such as our own.
This would enable informed decision-making when advocating for the adoption of this or other COVID-19 vaccines in African countries, once they are shown to be safe and effective,” said Madhi.
He is also leading the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial launched on June 23, in association with the University of Oxford and the Jenner Institute.
“Participating in the clinical development of these vaccines at the outset will assist in advocating for South Africans to be amongst the first in line to access these life-saving vaccines, once they become available,” he said.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Novavax, a 15 million grant towards the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trial in South Africa.
The South African study is part of a larger, global clinical programme to evaluate NVX-CoV2373, including a larger Phase III studies with approximately 30,000 participants, to be launched throughout the world.