Drugmakers edge closer to releasing coronavirus vaccines, but some people are not willing to take the shot.
China’s Sinovac Biotech has secured $515m in funding to double the production capacity of its coronavirus vaccine, it said on Monday, with efficacy data on its experimental medicine due this month.
The investment from China’s Sino Biopharmaceutical comes as Sinovac expands supply deals and trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac with more countries following positive results in early to mid-stage clinical trials.
Sino Biopharmaceutical’s investment will give it a 15.03 percent stake in Sinovac Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Sinovac, to help development and production of CoronaVac, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Sinovac said in a separate statement that it would be able to manufacture 300 million vaccine doses annually and aims to complete construction of a second production facility by the end of 2020 to increase annual COVID-19 vaccine production capacity to 600 million doses.
Depending on market conditions and the availability of financing, it may try to further expand its production capacity, Sinovac said.
Sinovac has secured CoronaVac supply deals with several countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Chile and is holding talks with the Philippines for a potential sale.
CoronaVac is one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines China has been using to inoculate around one million people under an emergency-use programme.
Brazil’s Butantan Institute, which is running a Phase 3 trial of CoronaVac in the country, said last week that Sinovac was expected to publish efficacy results from its vaccine trials by December 15.