Searle Company Limited, a local pharmaceutical firm, has signed a deal with a Chinese firm to produce a coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan, the company told the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in a letter. “The Searle Company Limited has successfully concluded an exclusive licensing & supply agreement with Livzon Mapharm Inc. for the recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine (V-01),” the company’s letter said. “The licensing agreement also covers the manufacturing transition of (V-01) in Pakistan.” The vaccine, the letter added, had shown promising results in phase I and II clinical trials. The phase III trial would include multiple countries and enrol more than 20,000 subjects. “Searle is confident that in the existing pandemic, the relevant authorities will take up the matter on urgent basis & support fast-track approval to carry out phase III clinical trials in Pakistan,” the letter added. Earlier this week, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that the government would import China’s Cansino Biologics Covid-19 vaccine in bulk to package three million doses locally.