The European Medicines Agency said on Tuesday its decision to start the review was based on preliminary results from laboratory and clinical studies.

The European Union’s pharmaceutical regulator has said it has started an ongoing review of China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine to assess its efficacy and safety, a first step towards possible approval for use in the bloc of 27 countries.

The European Medicines Agency said on Tuesday its decision to start the review was based on preliminary results from laboratory and clinical studies.

“These studies suggest that the vaccine triggers the production of antibodies” which fight the coronavirus “and may help protect against the disease,” the agency said in a statement.

The EMA added that no application for marketing authorization for the vaccine has yet been submitted.

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