Sinopharm unit cleared to study first mRNA COVID shot in China
Jan. 20, 2023 9:13 AM ETSinopharm Group Co. Ltd. (SHTDF), SHTDYPFE, MRK, MRNA, BNTX, CVACBy: Dulan Lokuwithana, SA News Editor6 Comments
- China National Biotec Group (CNBG) a subsidiary of Sinopharm Group (OTCPK:SHTDF) (OTCPK:SHTDY), announced Friday that authorities in China greenlighted clinical trials for the country's first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron variant.
- China's National Medical Products Administration has authorized the group's biotech unit Virgin Biotech to study the vaccine, which encodes the full length of the viral strain's S protein.
- Shanghai-based Virogin operates an R&D platform and boasts production lines that can manufacture up to 2B mRNA vaccine doses annually.
- The authorization marks a "milestone" in the company's COVID-19 vaccine development efforts, which have led to inactivated and genetic recombinant shots, Zhang Yuntao, vice-president and chief scientist of CNBG, said, according to China Daily.
- "From the early stage of research and development, CNBG has been working toward developing a world-class Omicron-specific mRNA vaccine in all aspects. Also, we have been making efforts to speed up the process for clinical trials," Yuntao added.
- Sinopharm (OTCPK:SHTDY) holds distribution and exclusive import rights for molnupiravir, an oral COVID-19 therapy Merck (MRK) has developed in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.