China's Clover says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows immune response in mice

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FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed China flag in this illustration

(Reuters) - Chinese biotechnology company Clover Biopharmaceuticals said on Tuesday the modified version of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed a strong immune response against the original strain of the virus and some variants during animal testing.

Clover said in a statement its vaccine candidate demonstrated a "neutralisation" against the South African, Brazilian and UK variants among mice.

The company is testing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate containing an adjuvant, typically designed to boost the efficacy of vaccines, from Dynavax Technologies Corp.

It had also been testing a candidate with an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline Plc, but ended the partnership in February after taking into account "scale-up manufacturing considerations."

Clover said it intends to continue evaluation of its remaining vaccine candidate and move into clinical trials in the second half of 2021 based on the data from the animal tests.

The company in February raised $230 million from investors, including Singapore's state investment firm Temasek Holdings to partly fund the development of its vaccine.

(Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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