Sinovac on Monday kicked off a clinical trial in Hong Kong to assess the safety and immunogenicity of its Omicron-specific COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, which is intended to be used as a booster shot for healthy adults.
It is anticipated that the clinical trial of the vaccine will provide scientific evidence for future immunization strategies, according to a statement that Sinovac sent to the Global Times on Monday.
A total of 300 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 and above who have been vaccinated with two or three doses of inactivated or mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be involved in the study.
This study is being led by a medical research team from the University of Hong Kong Clinical Trials Centre (HKU-CTC) in collaboration with Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong (GHK).
Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai from the University of Hong Kong said at the ceremony that vaccination is one of the most effective ways to cope with infectious diseases. As Omicron continuously sweeps around the world, it is expected that the clinical trial will strengthen and promote vaccine research and vaccine administration.
"As one of the research sites of HKU, we are pleased to be part of this clinical trial project and to contribute to the continuous research and development of vaccines and immunization strategies to help enhance health protection," Dr Kenneth Tsang, CEO of GHK, said at the ceremony.
"It is of great significance to cooperate with professor Ivan Hung, HKU-CTC and Gleneagles to carry out the clinical trial of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine as a booster shot against the Omicron strain. We hope to find a solution for Hong Kong and the globe to fight against the new viruses with the results of this trial," said Cheryl Law, international business development director at Sinovac.
Sinovac obtained a sample of the Omicron variant in early December of 2021 and then actively promoted research and development of its Omicron-specific inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.
Preclinical research demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and effective in animals.
The Omicron strain booster immunization clinical trial was approved by the HKU GHK Institutional Review Board (IRB) on April 12, 2022 and by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong on April 14, 2022, allowing the clinical study to go ahead.