China ready to test anti-SARS vaccine on humans
In the face of a re-emergence of SARS, China is ready for human trial of a newly-developed vaccine against the deadly respiratory disease, state media reported on Tuesday.
A Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) vaccine has been developed and is entering a preliminary clinical testing period, China Daily quoted the Ministry of Science and Technology as saying.
After a nine-month effort, the vaccine has passed a state food and drug administration evaluation, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology and also Deputy Director of the National SARS Vaccine Technical Group, Li Xueyong said.
The first phase of the test is aimed to see if it is safe and effective on the human body. The clinical study will involve production of a SARS vaccine by killing the virus with heat, Li said.
Scientists hope testing the vaccine on volunteers will not cause SARS, but instead work to make the human body immune to the disease.
The move is considered a milestone in China's anti-SARS efforts, Director of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Youyu said, but it would still take time to make the vaccine commercially available.
The vaccine was found safe in experiments on animals, including the rhesus monkey, Zheng said.