China’s Walvax Biotechnology to make COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca

Vastavam web: China’s Walvax Biotechnology Co has started work on a plant to manufacture an early-stage coronavirus vaccine candidate similar to AstraZeneca PLC’s product, state-backed media said on Sunday. Mass production for the proposed vaccine could begin in mid-2021, with an estimated capacity of 200 million doses a year, said Health Times, a paper run by the People’s Daily.

The treatment is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus to deliver materials that can trigger an immune response against the virus that causes COVID-19, a technique adopted in the candidate from AstraZeneca and Oxford University. AstraZeneca’s late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil last month found an efficacy of 62% for trial participants given two full doses but 90% for a subgroup given a half, then a full dose.

Adenovirus is used in other COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including one from China’s CanSino Biologics Inc, which is based a harmless common cold virus known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5). The potential Walvax vaccine might avoid this problem by using a rare adenovirus from chimpanzees to which humans normally do not have pre-existing immunity, Health Times said.

Source: Reuters