China’s Sinovac Biotech starts late stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine12Photo© hindustantimes.com

China’s Sinovac Biotech starts late stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine

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China's Sinovac Biotech is starting Phase III trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine in Brazil, it said on Monday, becoming one of three companies to move into the late stages in the race to develop an inoculation against the disease.

It follows a fast-track approval for the trials by Brazilian regulators last week.

Sinovac said the study, which will be done in partnership with Brazilian vaccine producer the Instituto Butantan, would recruit nearly 9,000 healthcare professionals working in COVID-19 specialised facilities and start this month.

AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) are the only other candidates in late-stage Phase III trials.