2020-11-05 08:41:36

With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading rapidly across the globe, several companies are showcasing their health care-related products and services at the third annual China International Import Expo (CIIE), which kicked off Thursday in Shanghai.

Several global firms are expected to announce the latest developments in their COVID-19 vaccines, a major focus of the six-day expo, according to Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper. Companies are also exhibiting technologies that may help in the fight against the coronavirus, including noninvasive ventilators and new testing methods.

Danaher Corporation, an American science and technology innovator, is exhibiting new virus-testing methods, including a nucleic acid test that’s able to deliver results in about 45 minutes.

In addition, the company is showcasing a rapid molecular detection kit capable of providing qualitative test results in 36 minutes for the influenza A and B viruses as well as respiratory syncytial viruses. It will also help effectively differentiate non-COVID-19 patients with similar symptoms. The kit was granted emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September.

Wang Lei, global executive vice president of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said Thursday morning at CIIE that the company’s AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine will kick off phase I and II clinical trials in China by the end of this year, and AstraZeneca is expected to submit an application to get its vaccine on the market in China after completing phase III clinical trials abroad next year.

AstraZeneca had signed a licensing agreement with Chinese vaccine manufacturer BioKangtai in August to promote the research and development, production, supply, and commercialization of AZD1222 in the Chinese market through technology transfer.

AstraZeneca is partnering with Oxford University to produce AZD1222, and clinical trials are underway in several countries around the world. Though the trials were briefly paused in the United States and the United Kingdom following an adverse reaction in a volunteer, they have since resumed in both countries.

According to the August agreement, BioKangtai will ensure that it can produce at least 100 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine by the end of 2020, and expand this capacity to at least 200 million doses per year by the end of 2021 to meet demand on the Chinese mainland.

(Header image: A man photographs a model of the COVID-19 virus during the third annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2020. Tang Yanjun/CNS/People Visual)