Late on Friday 22 May, China-based CanSino Biologics published Phase I results of the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of its recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored Covid-19 vaccine in The Lancet.

Another company at a similar point in its Covid-19 vaccine development, US-based Moderna, is yet to publish the full results of its Phase I study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

CanSino’s trial involved 108 patients in Wuhan, China, the original epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and was initiated in mid-March while the city was still in lockdown.

The study found “ELISA antibodies and neutralising antibodies increased significantly at day 14, and peaked 28 days post-vaccination. Specific T-cell response peaked at day 14 post-vaccination”, leading the trial coordinators to conclude: “The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic at 28 days post-vaccination. Our findings suggest that the Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine warrants further investigation.”

Linked to these results, CanSino’s vaccine candidate has progressed into Phase II studies in China in patients aged over 60, as there are concerns that vaccine-elicited responses to the novel coronavirus could be lower in older people, according to BioPharmaDive.

CanSino has also received approval from Health Canada to study its vaccine alongside the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology.