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UPDATE 1-China's Clover in research venture with GSK on coronavirus vaccine candidate

Mon, 24th Feb 2020 08:51

(Adds details on GSK, vaccine effort)

Feb 24 (Reuters) - China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals said https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200224005319/en
on Monday it will work with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline
on a research tie-up that will develop the Chinese company's
protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate "COVID-19 S-Trimer".

Fears of a coronavirus pandemic grew on Monday after sharp
rises in new cases reported in Iran, Italy and South Korea but
China relaxed restrictions on movements in several places
including Beijing as its rates of new infections eased.

Clover, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on
developing novel biologic therapies, said GSK will
provide it with its pandemic adjuvant system for further
evaluation of the vaccine candidate in preclinical studies.

GSK is already working with developers by providing a
technology that could make their vaccines more potent. The
drugmaker is collaborating with the Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness Innovations to contribute towards the effort of
developing a vaccine for the coronavirus outbreak.

The use of adjuvants or agents allow for production of more
vaccine doses and hence would increase availability to more
people.

"The use of an adjuvant is of particular importance in a
pandemic situation since it may reduce the amount of vaccine
protein required per dose," Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer
of GSK Vaccines, said.

Drugmakers racing to find a vaccine or effective treatment
for the deadly new coronavirus in China have, however, cautioned
that they have a long way to go, countering reports of supposed
breakthroughs.

At least a dozen drugmakers are working on vaccines or
antivirals and other treatments to help those infected with the
fast-spreading contagion.

GSK's Breuer said earlier this month that it will take at
least 12 to 18 months to find a vaccine or effective treatment.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju
Samuel, Bernard Orr)

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