The Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of Sinopharm, said in a statement on Wednesday that the interim analysis of the Phase III clinical trial showed that the vaccine is safe and that people receiving two doses of the vaccine will produce high levels of antibodies.
The company said it is seeking formal approval from Chinese regulators to distribute the vaccine to the public.
According to the company’s chairman, by November, nearly 1 million people had received the Sinopharm vaccine, although he did not specify which of the company’s two vaccines they had received.
Although no details were provided, a statement issued on Wednesday said the vaccine meets the standards of the World Health Organization and China̵
One step closer to mass launch
Sinopharm’s results were announced weeks after its global competitors announced. Due to the lack of details, it is not yet clear whether the information provided is sufficient to dispel doubts about the quality of Chinese vaccines.
Nevertheless, the statement may still pave the way for the large-scale promotion of the vaccine in China and globally.
China is ready to send hundreds of millions of doses to countries that have already conducted final trials of its leading vaccine candidate. Chinese leaders also promised that more and more developing countries will be given priority.
Analysts say Beijing is using the global movement as a soft power tool to try to repair any damage to its image due to its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
China has five coronavirus drug candidates from four companies and they have entered phase 3 clinical trials, which is the last and most important testing step before seeking regulatory approval. After largely eliminating the spread of the coronavirus within its borders, Chinese drugmakers had to go abroad to find places to test the efficacy of their vaccines. Together, they launched Phase 3 trials in at least 16 countries/regions.
Sinopharm’s two vaccine candidates are undergoing phase 3 trials in 10 countries (mainly in the Middle East and South America).
Compared with Pfizer and Moderna, Sinopharm’s vaccines can be stored without freezing temperatures, making transportation and distribution easier-especially in developing countries that lack cold storage capacity.
CNN Beijing Bureau contributed to the report.