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The May 1 Labor Medal Goes to Chongqing Vaccine Team

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|May 01,2022

Chongqing- Huang Enqi has made outstanding contributions to the prevention and control of the global epidemic. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions awarded him the May 1 Labor Medal on April 28.

Huang Enqi (right), deputy general manager of R&D center of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co.,Ltd.

Huang Enqi (right), deputy general manager of the R&D center of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., Ltd. (iChongqing file photo)

The May 1 Labor Medal is an honorable title awarded by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions to outstanding workers, enterprises, public institutions, and government organizations.

As a vaccine developer, Huang and his team completed the preclinical research of the COVID-19 vaccine in less than five months and subsequently became the world’s first approved recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine. It has made positive contributions to the prevention and control of the global epidemic.

Huang is not only the deputy general manager but also the leader of the researcher and technical team. Speaking of the COVID-19 epidemic, to Huang it’s still a fresh memory. His team was appointed at a critical moment, and at that time, Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and the Institute of Microbiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly developed the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine (CHO cell), which was included in the national emergency special project. As the company’s research and development backbone, Huang plunged into the company’s laboratory on the second day of the lunar new year, racing against time and the deadly trajectory of the virus.

The COVID-19 vaccine is an innovative vaccine that is difficult, costly, and labor-intensive to develop. Huang and his team have overcome one and one problems: constructing vaccine cell lines, production process development, safety, and effectiveness. In the initial stage of vaccine development, Huang said that the most challenging task is the protein purification process, the most critical step in the process. It usually takes at least six months to a year to complete the purification process, but they did it in seven days and seven nights.

Finally, in less than five months, the R&D team successfully completed the pioneering work of preclinical research on the COVID-19 vaccine. In March last year, it was approved for marketing in Uzbekistan and emergency use in China, and the vaccine became the first recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the world. In February this year, it was approved as a sequential (heterologous) booster for people who has primed with two doses of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine in China. In March this year, the conditional marketing authorization was approved by the state.

“This is not my credit. The strong support of the country and the company, the teamwork of my colleagues, and the hard work day and night are the keys,” said Huang.

In addition to the research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine, Huang has also participated in many projects. The research of new drugs at the technical level is internationally leading.

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