China has approved human testing for a potential coronavirus vaccine cultivated within insect cells, local government in the southwestern city of Chengdu said on Saturday.
China is in a global race to develop cost-effective vaccines to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using insect cells to grow proteins for the coronavirus vaccine – a first in China – could speed up large-scale production, the city government of Chengdu said in a notice on social media WeChat.
The vaccine, developed by West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu, has received approval from the National Medical Products Administration to enter a clinical trial, the notice said.
When tested on monkeys, the vaccine was shown to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections with no obvious side-effects, the notice added.
Chinese scientists are already leading work on at least eight other potential coronavirus vaccines that have entered different stages of clinical trials.