Chinese vaccine developers have begun to shed some secrecy around Covid-19 candidates. What do we know?
Last November, Nisa Leung found herself catching up with Margaret Chan in a conference at Beijing, wondering when the next pandemic may be.
Leung, now a managing partner at Qiming, had just graduated from business school at Stanford when she was asked to introduce infectious disease experts to Chan, then Hong Kong’s Secretary of Health. The year was 2003; the city was grappling with a local outbreak of a deadly coronavirus disease — later named the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS — that began with a patient zero from mainland China.
“I still remember very clearly that back then we tried to develop a diagnostic test in China and we kind of just didn’t have the capability,” Leung said. “And so we had to send the strains to the US for a company to develop it for us.”
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