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Germany approves first human trials of new coronavirus vaccine
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 23 - 04 - 2020

Germany's Federal Institute for Vaccines has approved on Wednesday the first human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by German biotech company BioNTech.
The trial will see 200 healthy participants between the age of 18 and 55 receive several variants of BioNTech's vaccine as scientists examine its efficacy in providing immunity against the virus.
In a second stage, additional tests will be conducted on more people, including those at higher risk from the coronavirus.
Named BNT162, BioNTech said it was developing this vaccine candidate in cooperation with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
BNT162 is also expected to be trialled in the U.S., once regulatory approval for testing on humans had been secured there.
To date, the pandemic has killed more than 177,000 people and infected 2.5 million, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
There are 86 teams across the globe currently working to develop a coronavirus vaccine, including a handful at the clinical trial stage.
Germany is second country in Europe, after the UK, approving a human trial.
On Tuesday, British health secretary Matt Hancock announced scientists at Oxford University will start testing a vaccine on people this Thursday.
Around 500 volunteers are expected to take part in the programme by mid-May, with the British government pledging £20 million ($1.26 million) to the Oxford research.
Earlier this month, China approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines, according to state media Xinhua.
These Chinese vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group.
In March, authorities in China approved another clinical trial for a vaccine candidate developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and HK-listed biotech company CanSino Bio.
In the United States, drug developer Moderna has started human tests for their vaccine with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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