China plans to support international cooperation research projects on drugs, vaccines, test kits, and traditional Chinese medicine to fight COVID-19.

A medical worker checks nucleic acid samples at the Huoyan, Beijing’s first air-inflated testing lab, on July 1, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Ministry of Science and Technology released an application guide on Monday to solicit at most 37 international anti-COVID-19 cooperation projects focusing on the four orientations. The aim is to strengthen research cooperation with virus-ravaged countries and related international organizations via innovative cooperation in international science and technology, and to share research data and experience in combating the pandemic.

Solicited projects include global multi-center clinical trials of drugs and vaccines, cooperative development of new testing technologies, and on-site quick testing equipment, as well as international research on the mechanisms of TCM in the COVID-19 treatment.

Vaccine candidates that have completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials will get priority support, according to the guide.

Each project should have at least one foreign research institute or enterprise involved. Foreign scientists employed in Chinese mainland institutes, and scientists from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan can also serve as project leaders.

A total of 100 million yuan (about 14.26 million U.S. dollars) from the coffers of the state will be offered to qualified candidate projects, with the proposed project implementation period not exceeding two years, said the ministry.

Interested institutions can submit online applications to the ministry from July 8 to August 31.