Second Chinese firm passes vaccine panel’s screening

Published November 27, 2020, 3:00 PM

by Analou de Vera

China’s Clover BioPharmaceuticals has passed the pre-screening of the vaccine experts panel of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)— to hold Phase III clinical trials of its COVID-19 candidate vaccine in the Philippines.


“As of November 25, the vaccine experts panel has technically cleared Clover Pharmaceuticals’ application,” said DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) Executive Director Jaime Montoya during an online forum hosted by the Department of Health (DOH).

Last month, China’s Sinovac Biotech also passed the evaluation of the VEP. Montoya said that the two vaccine developers still need to undergo the evaluation of the Single Joint Research Ethics Board as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Montoya said that they are expecting that the clinical trials for candidate vaccines of Sinovac and Clover will start next month— if they would be able to pass the different evaluations.

“We foresee that the clinical trials may begin at the earliest, perhaps late December or early January,” said Montoya.

Currently, five vaccine developers have submitted their applications to conduct clinical trials here, said Montoya.

“To date, there are five applications submitted to the sub-technical working group on vaccine development which will be processed by the vaccine experts panel, the ethics committee, and finally— the FDA for approval,” he said.

These applications were from China’s Sinovac Biotech and Clover BioPharmaceuticals; Gamaleya Research Institute from Russia, Jannsen Pharmaceuticals from Belgium, and AstraZeneca from the United Kingdom.

The DOST official said the vaccine experts panel is still asking for some more documents from Gamaleya Research Institute.

“We hope that they will be able to complete all of the documents and answer the questions at the ideal time possible so that we can facilitate the process of approval if they are deemed approvable by the vaccine experts panel,” said Montoya.