China's Kangtai starts mid-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The vaccine candidate uses an inactivated virus that cannot replicate in human cells

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Phials of an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured at Chulalongkorn University during the development of an mRNA type vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, May 25, 2020.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Phials of an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured at Chulalongkorn University during the development of an mRNA type vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, May 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BEIJING - China's Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products has begun a mid-stage human trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine, clinical trial registry data shows.

Kangtai's candidate is among more than 10 potential vaccines Chinese scientists have brought into various phases of clinical trials in efforts to counter the virus that has killed more than 1.1 million people globally.

The company plans to test the vaccine's safety and ability to trigger immune responses in a Phase 2 clinical trial expected to recruit 1,000 participants, according to the latest record published on the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry on Wednesday.

The vaccine candidate uses an inactivated virus that cannot replicate in human cells.

The Phase 2 trial was scheduled to begin on Oct. 27, according to the registration record, and a person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the trial has already started.

Apart from developing its own vaccine, Kangtai also has a deal to make and supply mainland China with the vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca and researchers at the University of Oxford.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo Editing by David Goodman ) ((miyoung.kim@thomsonreuters.com; 65 6870 3026; Reuters Messaging: miyoung.kim.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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