DOST: Trials for China's Sinovac, Clover may start end-2020 or early 2021
An illustration picture taken on November 19, 2020, shows a vial with Covid-19 Vaccine sticker, a syringe and an earth globe.
AFP/Joel Saget

DOST: Trials for China's Sinovac, Clover may start end-2020 or early 2021

( - November 27, 2020 - 2:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Two Chinese firms may start their coronavirus vaccine clinical trials in the Philippines by late December or January next year, the Department of Science and Technology said Friday.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidates of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Clover Biopharmaceuticals have passed the technical review of the vaccine expert panel for their application to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials in the Philippines, said Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

The first vaccine to hurdle the initial stage of screening for clinical trials in the country was Sinovac. The VEP cleared Sinovac on October 15. 

Clover, meanwhile, passed the review of the vaccine expert panel on November 25.

The vaccine candidates of the two Chinese drugmakers are still undergoing the evaluation of the ethics review board. Montoya said the two firms may be able to complete the assessment of the ethics board in the “next few days.”

Pharmaceutical firms developing COVID-19 vaccines would have to get the approval from the country's Food and Drug Administration before they can conduct clinical trials.

The applications of both firms have been submitted to the FDA for review. 

“We expect na kung dire-diretso ang Sinovac at Clover, we foresee na baka magsimula at the earliest ang clinical trials baka late December or early January,” Montoya said.

(We expect that if it goes well with Sinovac and Clover, we foresee the clinical trials may start in late December or early January at the earliest.)

The Philippines is also assessing the application of Russian firm Gamaleya Research Institute, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca to conduct late-stage clinical evaluations in the country. The government and private firms are expected a supply agreement for AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

Other clinical trials, including the World Health Organization-led Solidarity Trials, may also begin before the end of the year. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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