Chinese pharma firm says its vaccine protected monkeys from coronavirus

A leading Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech has claimed that a vaccine has for the first time “largely protected” monkeys from infection during an animal trial.

Nasdaq-listed biotech major said it injected two different doses of its vaccine into eight rhesus macaque monkeys and exposed them to the virus three weeks later, and they did not develop infections.

The company said four monkeys who received a high dose of the vaccine had “no detectable” amounts of the virus in their lungs seven days after they were administered the pathogen.

Another four monkeys given low doses showed an increase in the viral load in their bodies but appeared to have controlled the virus on their own, it said. Four monkeys who were not given the vaccine fell ill from the virus and suffered severe pneumonia.

Sinovac has already started the human trials on the same vaccine. The vaccine, like most others, uses a chemically inactivated novel coronavirus pathogen to help the body build immunity against the real disease.

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