FAST NEWS: Clover to Complete Covid Vaccine Applications by Year-End

The latest: Clover Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (2197.HK) said on Sunday it plans to complete registration applications for its lead Covid-19 vaccine candidate, SCB-2019, with the China National Medical Products Administration, the European Medicines Agency, and the World Health Organization by the end of this year.

Looking up: The latest data from phase 2 and 3 clinical studies show the vaccine demonstrated a strong neutralizing response to the globally dominant Covid-19 Omicron BA.5 strain, and significantly reduces household transmission of the virus.

Take Note: The Covid outbreak is still widespread and has recently mutated to the latest Omicron BF.7 variant, with some studies suggesting BF.7 may become the new dominant virus strain worldwide. That means commercialization of Clover’s new vaccine may not be able to keep up with changes in the most prevalent strains of the virus.

Digging Deeper: Founded in 2007 and listed in Hong Kong last November, Clover Biopharmaceuticals develops novel vaccines and biologic therapies. It has nine product candidates in the areas of Covid, influenza, rabies and oncology, though none have been commercialized yet. The company launched development of the SCB-2019 Covid candidate in January 2020. But it has yet to be commercialized in China and other countries after nearly three years, putting it well behind other domestic rival products.

Market Reaction: Clover’s shares rose 5.4% on Monday morning after the news came out. They later gave back some of those gains, but were still up 1.1% at HK$1.38 at the midday break. The stock is down 86% from its IPO price of HK$13.38 last November.

Translation by Jony Ho

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