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The Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, pictured, will be combined with a vaccine by China’s CanSino in a trial expected to start soon. A separate trial will test Sputnik V with the AstraZeneca—Oxford vaccine. Photo: Bloomberg

Coronavirus: China’s CanSino to pair its vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V in trial

  • Combining a Sputnik V shot with a dose of a different vaccine would address a shortage of the Russian product, says CanSino executive
  • The trial is expected to start in August or September and although the location has not been disclosed, it will not be carried out in China or Russia
China’s CanSino Biologics may start a clinical trial as early as next month using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine followed by a shot of its own Covid-19 vaccine, a senior executive said late on Thursday.

Combined dosage may help address a global shortage of the two-dose Sputnik V, which adopts a similar technique as the Chinese company’s product, said Pierre Morgon, senior vice-president at CanSinoBIO.

“[The combined use] is something that several countries have been asking for because the Russians have had difficulties in supplying the second dose in sufficient quantities compared to the first dose,” Morgon said.

He expected the trial to start around August or September. Morgon declined to disclose where the trial would be conducted because the information was yet to be made public, but he said it would not be in China or Russia.

Both Sputnik V and the CanSino shot are viral vector vaccines and use adenovirus engineered to be harmless as a vector to carry the coronavirus’ genetic information into the human body.

The first dose of Sputnik V is based on adenovirus type 26, while the second dose and the CanSinoBIO’s vaccine contain adenovirus type 5.

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The trial, which will study the combined doses’ safety and ability to trigger immune response in adults, has obtained local authorities’ endorsement, pending approval from an ethical committee, said Morgon.

Clinical trials combining AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine, which also uses a chimpanzee adenovirus vector, with Sputnik V had been approved in Russia, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Belarus.