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AZN Stock Lost 4% while AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Positive Results in Early Trials

UTC by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
AZN Stock Lost 4% while AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Positive Results in Early Trials
Photo: Depositphotos

Data from AstraZeneca’s clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222 shows promising results but AZN share price has refused to be positively impacted.

The world is still ecstatic with the hope of getting a vaccine that can guarantee a lasting and viable solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. As several pharmaceutical companies are working on developing a vaccine around the world, few have stayed ahead of the curve with their research. Of the UN approved COVID-19 candidates, the vaccine under development by the duo of the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN) has shown promising results from data published on Monday, July 20. As a result of this, the price of AstraZeneca stock refused to get a pump on Monday as investors’ reaction to the positive clinical trial news caused a 3.98% dip in the stock price that fell to $58.68. Today in the pre-market, however, AZN stock has started correcting with a 1.09% rise bringing the shares to $59.32.

AstraZeneca Vaccine Clinical Results

The Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca generated an immune response in a study involving about 1,077 patients. The vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) has been under development since the coronavirus became a disease of interest. Interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial, led by Oxford University, showed AZD1222 was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants. The results confirmed that a single dose of AZD1222 resulted in a four-fold increase in antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein in 95% of participants one month after injection. In all participants, a T-cell response was induced, peaking by day 14, and maintained two months after injection.

Neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 (as assessed by the MNA80 assay) was seen in 91% of participants one month after vaccination and in 100% of participants who received a second dose. The levels of neutralizing antibodies seen in participants receiving either one or two doses were in a similar range to those seen in convalescent COVID-19 patients. Strong correlations were observed across neutralization assays.

The data also show that the vaccine caused side effects, including fever, headaches, muscle aches, and injection site reactions, in about 60% of patients. All of the side effects were deemed mild or moderate, and all resolved themselves over the course of the study.

AZN Stock Response

The refusal of AZN shares to rise in tandem with the clinical trial news has caused experts to show concern. The result has been adjudged to be arguably one of the best amongst the COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said:

“We are encouraged by the Phase I/II interim data showing AZD1222 was capable of generating a rapid antibody and T-cell response against SARS-CoV-2. While there is more work to be done, today’s data increases our confidence that the vaccine will work and allows us to continue our plans to manufacture the vaccine at scale for broad and equitable access around the world.”

AZN stock is reading currently close to its ATH levels and it is believed that the share price will move higher to hit new records with further landmark steps in the pursuit of the vaccine.

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