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First novel coronavirus vaccines begin animal testing

By Zhao Yimeng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-23 14:35
Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken on Jan 29, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

The first batch of vaccines against the novel coronavirus has produced antibodies and undergone animal testing, an official of Zhejiang province's Science and Technology Department in East China said at a news conference on Sunday.

Song Zhiheng, deputy director of the department, said the recombinant adenovirus vaccine has begun cultivating recombinant virus and entered animal trials recently.

Virus filtering in Zhejiang province has stepped into the fourth generation, "but we should be aware that since vaccine development takes a long cycle, we must respect scientific rules and conduct careful and safe research," Song said.

Westlake University and the provincial biology laboratory successfully resolved the receptor of coronavirus by applying cryo-electron microscopy, a technique performed on cryogenically cooled samples and embedded in an environment of vitreous water.

The scientific breakthrough also was announced at the news conference.

A laboratory under Westlake University, a private university cultivating high-level talent in advanced technology, disclosed the structure of the ACE2 receptor, the channel for novel coronavirus to enter cells, under cryo-electron microscopy in a paper released on Friday.

The results play an important role in finding and optimizing the inhibitor that stops viruses from entering cells, the university said.

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