Sinopharm, also known as China National Pharmaceutical Group (CNPG), has started its COVID-19 vaccine’s phase III clinical trial in Abu Dhabi on July 16, which will involve up to 15,000 participants, as reported by Reuters on July 17, citing an announcement made by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is the world’s first phase III trials of an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine among 23 potential vaccines in human trials while four of them are in phase III.
Sinopharm received the approval for the trial in UAE in late June, after its vaccine achieved promising results in phase I and phase II trials, with 100% of participants generating antibodies after two doses in 28 days. Besides Sinopharm, Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech [SVA:US] is planning to conduct phase III trials of its inactivated vaccine in Brazil this month, although it has not disclosed its results of phase I and II. Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics [6185:HK] got the clinical trial approval from Canada in May and is also in talks with Russia, Brazil, Chile, and Saudi Arabia to start its phase III clinical trials in one of the countries. In addition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 15, AstraZeneca’s [AZN:US] non-replicating viral vaccine and Moderna’s [MRNA:US] RNA vaccine are the only two foreign vaccines at Clinical Stage III.