Canada scraps Covid-19 vaccine trial with Chinese pharma company
Canada has decided to cancel a coronavirus vaccine development agreement with the Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino due to delay in the shipping of drugs.
According to the South China Morning Post, it is unclear if political tensions between the two countries had anything to do with the snag at the Chinese customs.
China's National Research Council said that "The agreement between the NRC and CanSino had been reviewed prior to signature by CanSino's collaborators in the Chinese Government - the Beijing Institute of Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology - who had provided funding to CanSino."
"Due to the delay in the shipment of the CanSino Covid-19 vaccine candidate doses to Canada and as CanSino has now completed phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials elsewhere, this specific opportunity is over and the NRC is focusing its team and facilities on other Covid-19 priorities," the council said.
The Council said it has turned to its North American partners for collaboration and will go ahead in its COVID-19 vaccine development programme.
"We are also actively pursuing discussions with other partners to collaborate on other vaccine candidates and will announce these collaborations as they are confirmed," it said.
CanSino, earlier this week, had refuted that ties had been cut, however, the government-funded body has now confirmed that clinical trials of vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV would not go ahead in Canada.
According to the South China Morning Post, Ad5-nCoV, developed by China military scientists is among the leaders to produce a Covid-19 vaccine.
The National Research Council had signed an agreement with CanSino to conduct phase 1 trials in May.