Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Thursday that despite a delay in shipping the drug to Canada, the federal government is still in talks with China over moving forward with clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Trials for Ad5-nCoV were intended to be underway after Health Canada approved it for human testing in May. Biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics developed them along with Chinese government scientists. Still, the Chinese government is yet to sign-off on shipping the drug to Canada, which makes progress to come to a standstill.
Trudeau told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that they were obviously continuing to work with the Chinese government to ensure that this work can continue in an uninterrupted fashion. He also indicated that this particular approach is one that has worked well in the past, and the partnership actually created significant measures against Ebola several years ago. Justin added that they are investing in many different approaches to try and figure out where that vaccine will come from. Trudeau also confirmed that in collaboration with partners around the world, some of the world’s top researchers were working in Canada for a vaccine that can end this pandemic.
He added that they are trying to follow various paths to make sure that Canada will be part of it when a vaccine is developed. Justin also added that the need for global co-operation would be balanced with ensuring Canadian intellectual property is protected. On Thursday, Cyber security agencies in Canada, the United States and the U.K. indicated that Russia has tried to steal information and intellectual property from researchers working on a vaccine for COVID-19. In China, human trials of the Ad5-nCoV vaccine candidate are already underway, and the Chinese government has approved it for use in its military. Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCV) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, was expected to move along much faster than normal testing of five to seven years due to the urgency of the pandemic.