Covid Shot Lifts China’s CanSino to Profitability for First Time
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese vaccine developer CanSino Biologics Inc. posted its first profit after it started generating revenue from global shipments of the Covid-19 inoculation that it co-developed with the Chinese military.
Net income was 937.1 million yuan ($145 million) in the first six months of 2021, compared with a loss of 102.2 million yuan in the same period a year ago, the Tianjin-based biotechnology company said in a statement. Revenue rose to 2.06 billion yuan, compared with 4.03 million yuan in first half of 2020.
CanSino’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine was the first in the world to undergo human testing in March 2020 and was introduced in February. It has since been used in China, Mexico, Pakistan, Malaysia and Hungary. The vaccine, which uses a modified cold-causing virus to expose the immune system to the coronavirus, is similar to those developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.
The CanSino shot was found to be 66% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid and 91% effective against severe disease, but it trails vaccines from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd and state-owned Sinopharm in use outside of China, mostly in the developing world. Its two rivals are mainly responsible of the 770 million doses China has sent to the rest of the world so far.
The Covid vaccine is the first to generate substantial sales for CanSino. It received approval for an Ebola vaccine that used similar technology, but that shot was added to national stockpiles and wasn’t widely administered.
The company is developing other vaccines for ailments ranging from pneumonia to tuberculosis. It reached a deal with Pfizer Inc. in July 2020 to promote its meningitis vaccine, which has completed its clinical trial work and is pending approval in China.
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