China’s science authorities have announced the start of animal testing of vaccines for the novel coronavirus.
Zhang Xinmin (张新民), chair of the China National Center for Biotechnology Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that vaccine products had already entered the animal testing phase at a press conference held by the State Council over the weekend.
Yan Jinghua (严景华), a researcher with the Institute of Microbiology at the China Academy of Sciences, said that the design of a vaccine had already been completed, and that trials are currently being conducted on animals.
According to Zhang current research efforts are adopting a range of tactics to expedite the delivery of a vaccine to the market as soon as possible, including inactivated vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, viral vector vaccines and DNA vaccines.
With regard to pharmaceutical remedies, Zhang said China had already established scientific research teams that have employed methods including computer modelling and in vitro enzyme activity tests to select 5000 potential drug candidates from over 50,000 pharmaceuticals and compounds.
Around 100 drugs were then selected by performing initial screening with the common coronavirus at the cellular level, for subsequent testing with the novel coronavirus.
According to Zhang several drugs have undergone clinical trials, including chloroquine phosphate, Remdesivir and Fapilavir.