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Phase-III trial of COVID-19 vaccine begins in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has begun phase III of the clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the country after Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved the process on Monday, ARY NEWS reported.

A spokesman for the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad said that the vaccine under trial is the one being prepared by Chinese biotech firm, CanSino Biologics, and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.


“This is the first time that the country is going through the phase-III clinical trial of any COVID-19 vaccine,” he said and added that the Chinese company was already carrying out the clinical trial of the vaccine in Russia, Chile, Argentina and Saudi Arabia.

The vaccine trial in Pakistan is being carried out under the supervision of the NIH head, who is the principal investigator of the programme.

The NIH spokesman said that the Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC) has also approved the clinical study, to be carried out in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

“Global clinical trials regulatory has also given nod to the process and it will be monitored in the country by Global Scientific Committee,” he said adding that the process will help in portraying a positive image of the country worldwide besides also improving the local capacity of the vaccine production.

It is pertinent to mention here that a Pakistani pharmaceutical firm, AGM Pharma, has signed a contract with the Chinese Company to conduct a clinical trial of the vaccine at the NIH.

CanSino Biologics also recently won a patent approval from Beijing for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Ad5-nCOV, state media reported, citing documents from the country’s intellectual property regulator.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine patent granted by China, state-owned newspaper People’s Daily reported.

The paper cited documents published by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration saying that the patent was issued on Aug. 11.

China’s Central Military Commission also approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year.

Read More: DRAP nod awaited to begin clinical trial of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan

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