CanSino, Canada End COVID-19 Vaccine Collaboration, Citing Chinese Bureaucratic Hurdles

CanSino Biologics Inc CASBF partnership with Canada’s National Research Council on a COVID-19 vaccine came to an end Wednesday, Reuters reported.

What Happened: The NRC cited CanSino’s lack of authority to ship the vaccine to Canada as the reason for the falling through of the collaboration, according to Reuters.

The Chinese company had reportedly agreed to bring its vaccine candidate to Canada in May through the NRC for testing.

Citing the delay, the Canadian organization said it has since moved its focus and facilities “on other partners,” as per Reuters.

CanSino’s CEO Xuefeng Yu blamed China’s bureaucratic indecision for the partnership not coming to fruition, according to the Globe and Mail. 

Yu said some divisions of the Chinese government were not coming to a decision on whether the vaccine candidate should “go to global trials or how to handle it.”

Why It Matters:The Chinese company’s vaccine is based on a common cold virus known as adenovirus type 5, first developed by Canadian researcher Frank Graham, noted Reuters.

Canada has reportedly signed deals to purchase doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Inc MRNA and Pfizer Inc PFE.

Last week, CanSino became the first company in China to receive a patent for its vaccine Ad5-nCOV.

Saudi Arabia announced Phase 3 trials of the vaccine last month while the Chinese drugmaker is negotiating with Brazil, Chile, and Russia to launch such trials as well.

Vaccine candidates of multiple companies such as Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson JNJ, and Moderna are in Phase 3 human trials or nearing similar trials.

Russia claimed this month that its “Sputnik V” vaccine is ready for use, but experts have casted doubts due to lack of thorough testing.

Price Action: CanSino OTC shares closed 3.1% lower at $23.10.

Photo courtesy: Pan American Health Organization via Flickr

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