Sustainability, Innovation / Published June 22, 2020

UC signs partnership with Chinese laboratory that develops cutting-edge vaccine against COVID-19

This agreement between the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and the Pontifical Catholic University, through the Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy (IMII), will allow the vaccine being developed by the Beijing-based laboratory to be assessed in studies in Chile and, therefore, facilitate access of our country to this vaccine, if successful.

This agreement will greatly benefit both to support the vaccine that Sinovac Biotech has been developing for a few months, and to the one that UC is investigating through the team of Dr. Kalergis with the support of the Copec-UC Foundation. Indeed, both studies are complementary since the first one, which is in phase III, can contribute new knowledge to the latter, which is in a preclinical phase. If Dr. Kalergis’ vaccine progresses to phases I and II, having had a phase III experience in Chile would significantly speed up the process, benefiting from all previous experience.

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, producing a vaccine can take from 12 to 18 months. For this reason, collaborative research is essential in all areas. “It is important to clarify that, given the severity of this pandemic, the global scientific community is working hard to combat this virus. This is why it is very important to work collaboratively and that a large number of initiatives are simultaneously developed. This will allow us to have a much greater probability of having one or more vaccines that protect the population soon,” said Dr. Alexis Kalergis.

Thanks to this agreement, the final tests of the cutting-edge Chinese vaccine will be conducted on approximately 1,000 people in Chile. In addition, and given the urgency with which a Covid-19 vaccine is required, phase III, which normally takes two years. is expected to be sped up to less than one.