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23rd July 2020

Little-known Chinese firm builds $79M COVID-19 vaccine plant, eyes production next year

No animal data, no word on the timeline for a clinical trial, yet one little-known Chinese company is already building a multimillion-dollar facility for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.


On Saturday, China’s AIM Vaccine Group broke ground on a manufacturing and R&D base for its coronavirus vaccine in the city of Ningbo. The company is investing CNY 550 million ($79 million) on the project, aiming to activate the site next March and start production in the first half of 2021, according to (Chinese) the local government.

The new facility will be used to produce inactivated COVID-19 shots by AIM’s subsidiary Rongan Biological. But it’s not clear exactly which stage of R&D the vaccine is in; it hasn’t started human trials.


China already has several inactivated vaccine candidates in clinical development. Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech, in collaboration with Brazil’s Instituto Butantan, just pushed its inactivated shot, CoronaVac, into phase 3 trial in the South American country.

State-owned Sinopharm’s CNBG unit, which owns two inactivated programs developed by its biological research institutions in Beijing and Wuhan, started a phase 3 study in the United Arab Emirates in late June.

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