Chinese company spends $670 million to buy Canadian mRNA vaccine technology

Chinese company spends $670 million to buy Canadian mRNA vaccine technology - Photo 1.

Students in Shanghai, China, are vaccinated against COVID-19 on September 5 – Photo: REUTERS

On September 13, Bloomberg News reported that under the agreement, the Canadian company Providence will grant the right to manufacture vaccines using mRNA technology to Everest Company in China and other countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Lan.

Of the $670 million that the Chinese company has to pay, including $100 million in cash upfront, $100 million from profit sharing, $300 million in stock to develop products using mRNA technology, and so on.

China rarely uses mRNA technology vaccines and most of the country’s people (1.4 billion people) are vaccinated with domestic vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech.

In another development, the agreement of the pharmaceutical company Fosun to buy a vaccine with mRNA technology from German pharmaceutical company BioNTech for domestic injection has not been approved by the Chinese government so far. This shows that it is not easy to bring any technological vaccines into China.

Mr. Kerry Blanchard, CEO of Everest, said that if approved, the vaccine that the company acquired technology could be used for additional injections in China. The agreement with Providence could make the vaccine a “Chinese vaccine”, an advantage over Fosun’s production and distribution of BioNTech’s only vaccine.

In addition, in the countries where Everest is licensed, the need for COVID-19 vaccination is still very large. “I think it’s a reasonable assumption that most adults will need a booster shot at some point, and the older a person gets, the more immune they’ll get. People will need at least one additional dose.” , Mr. Blanchard said.

However, Mr. Blanchard said this mRNA technology vaccine has only completed phase 1 trials in Canada and is expected to start phase 3 early next year. The vaccine’s protective efficacy is unclear, although Mr Blanchard says its immunogenicity is “equal to or better than the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna”.

“We believe that a locally produced vaccine is the right approach and that’s the way we will pursue it. I believe the ability to completely transfer technology to China is important,” said the Everest leader. .

Meanwhile in China, an mRNA vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Walvax Biotechnology is in phase 3 trials and is expected to release data on efficacy later this year. In addition, pharmaceutical company Sinopharm said that it is developing a vaccine with this technology capable of fighting against variants of the new strain of corona virus that causes COVID-19.

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