Chinese firm seeks NIH collaboration to conduct Covid-19 vaccine trials in Pakistan

Given spread pandemic, urgency is critical to launch of any clinical trial in Pakistan, says pharma firm


​ Our Correspondent April 23, 2020
Given spread pandemic, urgency is critical to launch of any clinical trial in Pakistan, says pharma firm. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: As many countries around the world toiling to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine, a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company has invited Pakistan to collaborate in conducting clinical trials of its recently developed "inactivated" vaccine for Covid-19 in Pakistan.

In a letter sent to Executive Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Maj-Gen Dr Aamer Khan, China Sinopharm International Corp's General Manager Li Can expressed hope that "a successful clinical trial in Pakistan will make it one of [the] first few countries for the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine".

The task of developing a vaccine has been assigned by the Chinese government to the Sinopharm, according to the official handout.

"We recommend and hope that Pakistan will adopt a similar approach through its drug regulatory authority."

The letter stated that Sinopharm is one of the first organisations to have led the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

Pakistan awaits clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment

A state-owned enterprise produces more than 80 per cent of the mandatory immunisation needs of China and played a leading role in fighting the Covid-19 crisis in the country, according to the letter.

"In the process we developed a lot of practical insights that we would like to share with you," reads the letter written to the NIH chief. "The two organisations have already been collaborating regarding vaccine development in Pakistan."

Given the escalating spread of the pandemic, urgency is critical to the launch of any clinical trial in Pakistan and the subsequent introduction of the vaccine in Pakistan, it added.

The company, through its representative HealthBee Projects Private Limited, will full support in the provision of the supporting/regulatory documentation, distribution of trial related funding, planning of logistics, and submission of clinical trial dossier to DRAP [Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan].

“We will work in collaboration with NIH clinical trial team and during the processing for the success of clinical trials as this endeavour is of utmost importance for our countries in accordance with the current pandemic situation.”

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