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World

Russian Vaccine Team to Conduct Combined Trial with Chinese Counterparts

  • Russian developers are in talks with China's CanSino Biologics Inc., in an effort to test a combined regimen of their shots to better protect against new virus strains.
  • The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a partner in the Sputnik V vaccine program, forged a preliminary agreement with the CanSino and Petrovax Pharm, to reportedly conduct testing in Russia.
Updated 15 Feb 2021

Russian developers are in talks with China's CanSino Biologics Inc., in an effort to test a combined regimen of their shots to better protect against new virus strains.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a partner in the Sputnik V vaccine program, forged a preliminary agreement with the CanSino and Petrovax Pharm, to reportedly conduct testing in Russia.

Researchers are currently investigating whether combining different developers' vaccines could potentially produce better results as the original two-shot regimen; which could help relieve pressure on individual vaccine makers if they run into manufacturing issues.

While the Sputnik V program has already attained a degree of success using different vectors for its two doses, it has faced challenges ramping up production amid its ambitious rollout.

The prospect of a collaborative effort between Russia and China could offer developing countries a new tool to fight the pandemic, in addition to enhancing their own geopolitical influence in the region - as major Western powers struggle to battle the pandemic.

Other collaborative tie-up plans are also progressing - the University of Oxford plans to start a trial combining vaccines from AstraZeneca and Pfizer, while Russia will begin testing a mix of Sputnik V with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan next week.

The Russian vaccine shows 91.6% efficacy, according to peer-reviewed interim analysis published in The Lancet on the 2nd of February, while China’s other leading vaccines have shown lower protection rates, ranging from 50% to 80%.