Chinese drug regulators have approved the world’s first inhalable COVID-19 vaccine, made by Tianjin-based manufacturer CanSino Biologics, boosting the company’s share price by seven percent on Monday.
The National Medical Products Administration gave the go-ahead for the vaccine for emergency use as a booster, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.
CanSino Biologics Inc. (“CanSinoBIO”) announced that the National Medical Products Administration of China (“NMPA”) has granted the Company approval for its Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) for Inhalation (trade name: Convidecia Air™) to be used as a booster dose.
Utilizing the same adenovirus vector technological platform as the intramuscular version Convidecia™, Convidecia Air™ provides a non-invasive option that uses a nebulizer to change liquid into an aerosol for inhalation through the mouth. Convidecia Air™ is needle-free and can effectively induce comprehensive immune protection in response to SARS-CoV-2 after just one breath.
CanSinoBIO received the approval of its clinical trial application for Convidecia Air™ in March 2021. Studies published in The Lancet indicated that Convidecia Air™ can induce strong humoral, cellular and mucosal immunity to achieve triple protection and effectively contain the infection and spread of the virus.
Currently, CanSinoBIO has achieved steady production of various innovative vaccines and established a global supply chain, with a goal to continue to make quality vaccine products more accessible by the global population.
Following the announcement, company shares surged 14 percent on Monday morning before closing 7.1 percent higher than their opening value.
The needle-free vaccine—which can be stored and administered more easily than intramuscular jabs—will be given through a nebuliser, the company said.
“The approval will have a positive impact on the company’s performance if the vaccine is subsequently purchased and used by relevant government agencies,”
The company did not offer details on when the adenovirus-vectored vaccine will be made available for public use.
There is no publicly available verified or peer-reviewed data on the efficacy of the new vaccine.
Scientists in several countries including Cuba, Canada and the United States are also trialing inhalable COVID-19 vaccines.
China has so far approved eight other locally manufactured injectable vaccines since 2020.
But the country’s drug administrator is yet to greenlight any foreign vaccines, including mRNA shots produced by Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna that have better efficacy rates compared to other types of vaccines.
China is the only major economy sticking to a zero-COVID policy, disrupting travel and businesses.
Officials across the country are now under pressure to curb local virus flare-ups ahead of a key political meeting next month.
The southern tech hub of Shenzhen, with more than 18 million residents, imposed a weekend lockdown in most parts of the city on Saturday, while more than 21 million people in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu are undergoing mass testing from Monday through Wednesday.
China has administered over 3.4 billion COVID shots, the National Health Commission said Monday without offering details on the percentage of the population vaccinated.