Sinopharm Group Co. surged by the most since April 2015 to lead a rally among Chinese healthcare names, as the trial results for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate rekindled investors’ enthusiasm for the sector.
A vaccine candidate developed by Sinopharm’s Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. has shown no serious adverse reactions during phase I and II clinical trials, according to a Weibo posting on Tuesday by China National Biotec Group, a subsidiary of the company’s parent. That sent Sinopharm shares up by as much as 15% in Hong Kong to be the best performer in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
China National Medicines Corp., a unit of Sinopharm, soared by the 10% daily limit in Shanghai while another subsidiary China National Accord Medicines Corp. jumped as much as 8.8% in Shenzhen. The MSCI China healthcare gauge rose as much as 2.2% to the highest in two years.
Using a killed version of the coronavirus, the vaccine developed by Sinopharm is among five Chinese experimental shots that have reached the crucial final stage of human testing before they can be approved for public use. Data collected from early phases of human testing in three of the five vaccines have suggested they are safe and able to elicit immune response to the virus in studies that enrolled hundreds of people.
As the world races to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, Beijing has mobilized its health authorities, drug regulators and research institutes to work around the clock with local firms. China has promised to share any successful vaccine globally.