Sinovac engineer shows an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus (via Getty Images)

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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