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Chinese firm gets approval to begin human testing for potential coronavirus vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has approved a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products’ unit to begin human testing, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.

The potential vaccine, co-developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical and the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has received a certificate from the National Medical Products Administration to launch clinical trials.

Chinese researchers and companies are testing six experimental shots in humans, and more than a dozen vaccines are in different stages of clinical trials globally against the virus that has killed over 470,000 people.

However, none of the them have passed large-scale, late-stage phase 3 clinical trials, a necessary step before entering the consumer market.

Reporting by Colin Qian, Roxanne Liu and Se Young Lee in Beijing; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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