Around the globe, health experts and scientists continue to race against time to come up with a working COVID-19 vaccine. It has been repeatedly mentioned that it takes roughly a year to come up with one. Part of the reason for that is that proper human trials are needed to back these drugs, a phase that most are trying to get to.
China is one of the countries trying to reach that stage. Locally, it appears they have been making headway. With reports that their local cases are now reportedly fewer than 10 per day on averages last month, it seems that China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is making progress with efforts to fend off the virus and the company is now aiming big. They have gotten approval to run a large-scale “Phase 3” clinical trial of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The announcement was made via Weibo without naming the vaccine that will be tested, according to the New York Times.
For some, it may seem a bit strange as to why CNBG is seeking to trial their vaccine in the UAE. According to Reuters, the reason behind this is that they are lacking new patients to try the vaccine locally. Vaccine trials would need thousands of participants where the virus is widespread. This allows them to observe and closely monitor how it would work in a real-life environment.
Though surprising, some may get misconceptions about why CNBG is looking to perform human trials abroad. But considering that the cases over there are declining, the initiative may be viewed differently and instead a measure to help COVID-19 vaccine makers to boost their drive for a working cure.
Units of CNBG have already developed two possible vaccines that have been used on over 2,000 people in previous tests done in China. These units are an affiliate of the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). Also, CNBG is not the only Chinese company that is bringing their trial vaccines abroad. Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac Biotech have been doing that as well in Australia and Brazil respectively.