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In partnership with U.K.’s Oxford University, AstraZeneca said that it will resume the phase three clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine contender AZD1222 since it got an approval from UK’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority.
After pausing its work on the coronavirus vaccine citing safety concerns last week, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) has resumed the clinical trials after receiving a green signal from UK’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority.
Meanwhile, on Friday AZN stock closed with a 1.24% rise, at $53.73. Then it climbed an additional 0.037% to $ 53.75.
Thus, the leading pharma giant joins again the race for developing a COVID-19 vaccine and proceeding with its phase three trials. AstraZeneca has declined to report any medical information as the reason behind pausing the trials. The company just noted “the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause”. This is because they wanted regulators and independent committees to review data and some observations made. In its latest statement, AstraZeneca said:
“The Company will continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic”.
For the COVID-19 vaccine dubbed AZD1222, the pharma giant is working in partnership with the University of Oxford. The duo said that so far 18,000 people have received this vaccine until now. In another statement, Oxford said:
“In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety”.
The U.S. Is Willing to Give $1.2 Billion to AstraZeneca (AZN) for Further Vaccine Research
AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been the forerunner in the race for an effective vaccine against COVID-19. However, when the pharma giant announced pausing the project last week, the world was in tatters. Company CEO Pascal Soriot said that the vaccine caused an unexplained illness in a woman in the U.K.
The woman has reported a spinal inflammatory disorder dubbed traverse mylelitis along with showing some neurological disorder. Before that as well, AstraZeneca’s clinical trials for the vaccine were halted in July after one of the participants complained of neurological disorder. On Thursday, WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said:
“I think this is a good … perhaps a wake-up call or a lesson for everyone to recognize the fact that there are ups and downs in research, there are ups and downs in clinical development and we have to be prepared for those”.
Well, it is certainly good news that the pharma giant will resume its work on the vaccine. The United States has also announced investing $1.2 billion in AstraZeneca’s efforts against 300 million doses in case the candidate proves safe and effective. On Saturday, Serum Institute of India (SII) said that it will resume trials in India once it gets a go-ahead from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). SII is one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers by volume.