China OKs human test for coronavirus vaccine candidate based on BioNTech's technology, says Fosun

Credit: REUTERS/ALY SONG

China has given the green light to an early-stage human test for a coronavirus vaccine candidate using German firm BioNTech's technology, its local partner said on Thursday.

BEIJING, July 16 (Reuters) - China has given the green light to an early-stage human test for a coronavirus vaccine candidate using German firm BioNTech's BNTX.O technology, its local partner said on Thursday.

A unit of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group 600196.SS, 2196.HK plans to initiate a phase I clinical trial of the potential shot, dubbed BNT162b1, developed with BioNTech's technology, "as soon as possible once it is ready", Fosun Pharma said in a filing.

Prior to the latest approval, Chinese researchers and companies have already moved eight vaccine candidates into different phases of human tests at home and abroad.

Fosun Pharma agreed in March to pay up to $85 million in licensing fees to use BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology and make an equity investment of $50 million for 1,580,777 ordinary shares in the German firm.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

((hongkong.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; (8610)6627-1277; Reuters Messaging: roxanne.liu@thomsonreuters.com))

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