Egypt reports via its Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research that that influential Arabic nation will conduct two Phase COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in partnership with China’s Sinopharm Group. Egypt is an important market for the vaccine producers. Why? It’s the most populous Arab nation, and also a gateway to Northern Africa and one of the most populous Islamic countries worldwide. Successful vaccinations lead to not only the most important goal, public health around the world, but also commercial brand building for what are undoubtedly growing markets over time. Additionally, Sinovac appeared as a partner to plan for Egypt to manufacture and distribute vaccine products for that Chinese venture. The Chinese are beating out the Russians and the Western players for this market segment.
TrialSIte reported that both Russia and China were intensely pitching Egypt and that the Middle Eastern nation was opting for two vaccines developed by the Chinese company known as Sinopharm based on a number of Egyptian sources. TrialSite reported that the Sinopharm vaccine platform gained serious momentum in Egypt and the Middle East due in part to a large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial and emergency sue designation in the influential United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sinopharm, a state-owned enterprise, has developed two vaccine products including one called “New Crown COVID-19 Vaccine.” TrialSite and others have reported how, in the race, to protect the world from COVID-19m the “East” (e.g. China and Russia) have generally pushed the envelope so to speak in uncomfortable and questionable ways. For example, Sinopharm disclosed to the China National Radio over a month ago that the state enterprise has already treated hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens with one of their experimental vaccines, despite the fact that the product hadn’t even gone through Phase 3 clinical trials. TrialSite at that point reported its better to be safe than sorry.
Under the China National Biotec Group, Sinopharm reported its vaccines would likely protect people for up to three years. Earlier in September, the South China Morning Post reported that China National Biotec Group had its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates in ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials in, of course, the aforementioned UAE as well as Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Jordan and Argentina.
One of the vaccines is known as the “New Crown COVID-19 Vaccine,“ an inactivated vaccine consisting of lab-grown virus particles with less the infectious-disease elements. This vaccine product derived from work in collaboration with the isolation of a patient from Jinyintan Hospital, Wuhan China. As reported in TrialSite’s favorite vaccine reference site, Precision Vaccinations.
Sinovac Deal: Egypt to be Vaccine Hub for MFG & Dist. To Africa
In parallel, China’s Sinovac was purportedly the vaccine maker involved with an Egyptian deal where the Chinese biotech would collaborate with the government and transfer manufacturing technology. The goal would be to establish Egypt as a hub for vaccine production and distribution for the African market, mass producing one of the five COVID-19 vaccines developed in China. Although not identified at the time, Sinovac’s CoronaVac is in fact that product candidate. Arab News also confirmed this arrangement.
CNBG was formerly the Central Epidemic Prevention Department of Beiyang Government, directly under the leadership of the Ministry of Health after the founding of “New China.” It was a public sector spinoff into a large company known as SINOPHARM. Long recognized within the Chinese biotech sector for the ability to develop a sizable portfolio of life science products as well as operate significant manufacturing capacity, the company has integrated functions of R&D, production, sales and postgraduate training. CNBG presently has 11 secondary subsidiaries and 60 sub-secondary companies with over 10,000 employees.
With six primary business segments (human vaccines, blood products, medical aesthetics, animal healthcare, biotherapeutics and medical diagnostics), the company has the capacity to produce 50 kinds of human vaccines with an annual output of over 700 million doses. According to the company’s website, it supplies over 80% of the vaccines for the National Immunization Program of China.
In addition to holding subsidiaries in various segments, as mentioned above, the company employs over 1,000 in R&D and 1,100 in quality management.
The company’s parent, SINOPHARM, is a state-owned pharmaceutical company actually owned by Sinopharm Industrial Investment, a 51-49 joint venture of state-owned enterprise China National Pharmaceutical Group and civilian-run Fosun Pharmaceutical. Its shares have been listed on the Hong Kong Exchange since 2009. Sinopharm Group was ranked 829th in the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list.
Founded in 1999, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a China-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of vaccines that protect against human infectious diseases. Sinovac’s product portfolio includes vaccines against enterovirus71 (EV71), hepatitis A and B, seasonal influenza, H5N1 pandemic influenza (avian flu), H1N1 influenza (swine flu), varicella vaccine and mumps. Healive, the hepatitis A vaccine manufactured by the Company, has passed the assessment under WHO prequalification procedures in 2017. The EV71 vaccine, an innovative vaccine developed by Sinovac against hand foot and mouth disease caused by EV71, was commercialized in China in 2016.
In 2009, Sinovac was the first company worldwide to receive approval for its H1N1 influenza vaccine, which it has supplied to the Chinese Government’s vaccination campaign and stockpiling program. The Company is also the only supplier of the H5N1 pandemic influenza vaccine to the government stockpiling program.
The Company is developing a number of new products, including a Sabin-strain inactivated polio vaccine, pneumococcal polysaccharides vaccine, a quadrivalent influenza vaccine and a SARS-CoV-2 (commonly referred to as COVID-19) vaccine. Sinovac primarily sells its vaccines in China, while also exploring growth opportunities in international markets. The Company is registering its products in over 30 countries outside of China.
The company is conducting major COVID-19 Phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil and, as TrialSite recently reported, is positioning to have the first COVID-19 vaccine commercialization in the Americas in Brazil before end of the year—if all goes well for the study.
TrialSite News reported on challenges as the company had to recently secure a $15 million convertible debt deal. Back in 2019, the company instituted a rare “poison pill” to protect management from disgruntled shareholders. This whole affair was full of intrigue and drama.