Sinovac raises $500m to fund Coronavac trials and production

Sinovac Biotech has secured financing of $500m to fund further development of its candidate COVID-19 vaccine.

The funding – which gives investor Sino Biopharma a 15% stake in the Beijing biotech – will be used to support clinical development of Coronavac, a vaccine that uses inactivated forms of COVID-19 to induce immune responses.

Sinovac is conducting large-scale clinical trials of the vaccine in Brazil – the study was suspended in October before resuming last month – and Indonesia. In November the firm told the Wall Street Journal it plans to release clinical data in the near future.

Image: iStock/sezer ozger

Data from earlier Phase I/II trials show the vaccine can induce neutralizing antibodies among over 90% of volunteers who received two doses.

Capacity expansion

In addition to supporting clinical development, the new funding will also help Sinovac expand manufacturing capacity according to CEO, Weidong Yin.

“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.

“In addition to funding the CoronaVac, this new strategic partnership with Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited 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.”

Sinovac operates a vaccine manufacturing facility in Beijing’s Changping district of Beijing that was acquired in February 2010.

The firm is also building a second production plant at the site that is due to be completed before the end of the year.

The firm has set a target of producing 600 million doses of Coronavac when the new facility is operational.

It has also said that, depending on market conditions and the availability of financing, it may further expand production capacity.

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