Potential COVID-19 vaccine approved for human trials in Canada is blocked in China

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TORONTO – A Canadian human trial of a possible COVID-19 vaccine has not yet started because the Chinese government has not approved the shipment of Ad5-nCoV to Canada, according to Canadian authorities. Health Canada announced on May 16 that it has approved Ad5-nCoV for testing in humans in Canada, which will be conducted by the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCV) at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Human trials of the vaccine candidate are continuing in China, with results promising enough that the Chinese government has approved its use in its military.

CCV director Dr. Scott Halperin said in May that testing would be done “more quickly” than the usual process, which can take five years or more. He told The Canadian Press that he expects the first phase of the trial to begin in about three weeks.

Almost two months later, however, not a single Canadian has received Ad5-nCoV – because, as first reported by iPolitics, not a single shipment of the candidate vaccine has arrived in the country .

A Health Canada spokesperson told CTVNews.ca on Monday that Chinese authorities have yet to approve the shipment of the potential vaccine here.

“The candidate vaccine for phase 1 clinical trials has not yet been approved by Chinese customs for shipment to Canada,” said AndrĂ© Gagnon in a statement.

“Once the Canadian Center for Vaccinology has received the vaccine candidate, it will begin the CanSino clinical trial, under regulatory oversight from Health Canada. ”

CanSino Biologics, the biopharmaceutical company that developed Ad5-nCoV with scientists from the Chinese government, did not respond to a request for comment before the story was posted.

In a statement to CTVNews.ca, a spokesperson for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, described Ad5-nCoV as “one of the main candidate vaccines against COVID-19 in the world “and said an agreement is in place that will allow it to be manufactured in Canada” for use in an emergency pandemic “if approved for distribution by Health Canada.

The government announced in May that it plans to upgrade $ 44 million at a National Research Council of Canada facility in Montreal to prepare for the possibility of a large-scale Ad5 manufacturing effort. -nCoV.

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