China may be on the cusp of approving its first mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, Nature News reports.
It notes that seven vaccines have already been approved in China. The two main ones in use, from Sinovac and Sinopharm, rely on inactivated viruses and are not as effective as the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna, it adds.
According to Nature News, a small clinical trial of the ArCoV vaccine candidate developed by Abogen Biosciences, has indicated that when it is given to previously vaccinated adults as a booster shot, it leads to a stronger immune reaction than the inactivated virus-based vaccines. In a preprint, the investigators said their findings support its use as a booster.
Feng Gao from Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, tells it that whether the vaccine "will receive official approval will depend on its phase III trial result. Not every mRNA-vaccine candidate will succeed."
Nature News adds that a handful of other Chinese-developed mRNA-based vaccines are also in trials.