Chinese firm working on Covid-19 mRNA vaccine that can be stored at fridge temperature
- Guangzhou RiboBio’s product, which has been tested on animals, has a shelf life of about six months when stored at between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius
- Scientists from the National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology of China also working on a vaccine with a nanocarrier-based delivery system
Zhang Biliang, the company’s founder, was quoted as saying the firm had the biggest mRNA raw material factory in China with capacity to produce enough doses for 100 million people a year.
The product could be stored at a higher temperature than other Covid-19 mRNA vaccines because of the “lipid nanoparticles patented technology” his team had developed, he said.
Comparing mRNA vaccines to an egg, Zhang said the shell was a lipid compound that carried the mRNA fragment, which stimulated the immune system, adding that vaccine producers were looking for different ways to stabilise and make the shell safer.
Meanwhile, scientists at the National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology of China are developing a vaccine with a nanocarrier-based delivery system, the newspaper report quoted its director general, Zhao Yuliang, as saying.
The research project began last year in collaboration with Chen Wei, a virologist and epidemiologist from the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, who also led the team that developed the CanSino vaccine that has already been approved for public use.
China has approved four Covid-19 vaccines for general use – all of them locally developed – and as of late February had administered 52 million doses to its citizens. It has set a goal to vaccinate 40 per cent of the population by July.
Meanwhile, George Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a CPPCC meeting that the country should set up a national vaccine research centre, China News Service reported on Saturday.
A vaccine for Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) was developed but the epidemic had ended before it could be put to use.
“We should study these vaccines well and be prepared,” he said, adding that the government should increase its investment in basic research in related fields.