CHINA Sinovac secures $500 million in funding for COVID-19 vaccine development

CHINA

Sinovac secures $500 million in funding for COVID-19 vaccine development

chinadaily.com.cn

20:47, December 07, 2020

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken on April 10, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)

Sinovac Biotech Ltd, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, announced Monday that Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd, a Sinovac subsidiary, has secured approximately $500 million in funding for further development, capacity expansion and manufacturing of CoronaVac, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as well as conduct other development and operational activities.

The investor, Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited, a leading innovative research and development-driven pharmaceutical conglomerate in China, through affiliates, has invested approximately $500 million in exchange for approximately 15 percent of the total equity interest of Sinovac LS.

"We have made significant progress in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate CoronaVac, which has reached critical milestones in clinical trials in Asia and Latin America," said Weidong Yin, chairman, president and CEO of Sinovac. "In addition to funding CoronaVac, this new strategic partnership with Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd further enables us to improve our vaccine sales capabilities, expand in Asia markets, develop and access new technologies, and most importantly, accelerate our efforts to help combat the global pandemic."

Prior to the investment announcement, Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital exercised their right to convert their convertible loans previously announced by the Company on May 22 into 7.5 percent of total equity interests in Sinovac LS, which after the investment now represents an approximately 6.3 percent stake in Sinovac LS.

Phase III clinical trials for CoronaVac have been approved in Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Chile. In China, the phase I/II trials were conducted with results showing the vaccine candidate can induce neutralizing antibodies among over 90 percent of volunteers who received two doses of vaccination in both adults and the elderly. The results of the company's phase I/II clinical trial on healthy adults aged 18-59 years old were published in Lancet Infectious Diseases on Nov 17.

Sinovac expects to be able to manufacture 300 million doses annually and aims to complete the construction of a second production facility by the end of 2020 to increase the annual production capacity of CoronaVac to 600 million doses. Depending on market conditions and the availability of financing, the company may in the future seek to further expand its production capacity.

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