Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics‘ COVID-19 vaccine candidate has received a patent from the Chinese government — the first such patent granted in the country.
Chinese state media outlet People’s Daily reported Sunday that the country’s National Intellectual Property Administration granted the patent for Ad5-nCoV, which uses a weakened human common cold virus to deliver genetic material that codes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to the cells. These cells then produce the spike protein, and travel to the lymph nodes where the immune system creates antibodies that will recognize that spike protein and fight off the coronavirus, according to research published in The Lancet in July.
The phase 2 study reported in The Lancet involved 508 people in Wuhan, China, and found that the vaccine is safe and induces an immune response. A phase 3 trial, now being planned, will address such questions as the how long protection would last, dosage size and differences in immune responses among different age groups.
Pre-existing immunity to the common cold virus coupled with increasing age may hamper antibody responses to the vaccine, the study’s authors reported. Elderly people might need a second dose to produce a stronger immune response, they said in a news release.
The UK and Russia are also working on a vaccine candidate using this kind of technology, according to the People’s Daily. Russia announced earlier this month that it had developed the first vaccine for the novel coronavirus.