Pakistan earned $10 million by holding phase-III clinical trials of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical firm, CanSinoBIO.
Executive Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Maj. Gen. Aamer Ikram, has said that phase-III clinical trials of CanSinoBIO’s vaccine were held at five centers in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi.
Pharmaceutical companies from all over the world including China, UK, Korea, and Japan are now approaching Pakistan for conducting phase-III clinical trials of a number of Coronavirus vaccines, providing the country a chance to earn huge revenue and foreign exchange.
Besides, Pakistan will earn $30 million annually from the local manufacturing of CanSinoBIO’s vaccine. NIH had initiated the indigenous manufacturing of CanSinoBIO’s vaccine in May after technology transfer from China. The vaccine is Pakistan’s first locally-produced COVID-19 vaccine and is known as PakVac.
Also known as Ad5-nCoV, CanSinoBIO developed its Coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and tested it in large-scale phase-III clinical trials which involved 40,000 volunteers in five countries, including 10,000 in Pakistan.
The results showed that the CanSinoBIO vaccine was 65% effective at preventing symptomatic cases and 91% effective at preventing severe infection. As for the Pakistani subset, the vaccine offered 75% protection against symptomatic cases and 100% protection against severe infection.