RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Chinese drug company Sinopharm and the state of Parana have agreed to launch a fourth major COVID-19 vaccine trial in Brazil and will seek regulatory approval in the next two weeks, the Brazilian partner said Wednesday.
A trial by Sinopharm will join the Phase III trial announced in Brazil by AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer’s partnership with BioNTech.
Jorge Callado, head of the Parana Technology Institute (Tecpar), said they would soon complete their proposals and submit them for approval with federal health regulator Anvisa.
Brazil’s COVID-19 outbreak, the worst in the world outside the United States, has made it a global test site for vaccine potential.
Candidates for the Sinopharm vaccine are being tested in the United Arab Emirates with 15,000 volunteers.
Parana was also in talks with Russian researchers about producing their potential vaccine, the state government said in a statement, adding that Governor Ratinho Júnior would soon meet with Russia’s ambassador to Brazil.
Russia has also contacted the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo to discuss testing their vaccines, the agency’s director told reporters on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Brad Haynes and David Gregorio)
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