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The World Health Organization highlighted the progress of AstraZeneca seeking for the COVID-19 vaccine. UK-based company has moved to the human trial stage. Moderna is not far behind.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the race for the COVID-19 vaccine may soon be over and in a statement released on Friday it said that AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN) is ahead of other companies working on vaccines to combat the pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands globally.
Meanwhile, AZN stock is rising today. It is around 0.60% up to trade at $53.02.
The WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that the UK-based company has done a good job at the quest noting that its vaccine which is at the human trial stage has shown promise and brought the company its leading position.
WHO: AstraZeneca and Moderna Are Leaders
According to the statement, the prospect of having a vaccine will soon be a reality. The agency top executive in charge of a coalition that aims to raise funds for the development of the vaccine said that the progress made so far shows that the COVID-19 vaccine would be the fastest developed so far.
Andrew Witty who is the special envoy for the WHO-led coalition said:
“Even if it takes 12 to 18 months that would be without precedent, the world’s fast development of vaccine”
The coalition plans to raise $31.3 billion through donations from governments and private donors. This would help in the funding of vaccines and trials that should lead to the development of treatment for the disease. The coalition known as ACT-Accerlerator has set a timeframe of 12 months to raise the fund. Witty said that it is important to set up what he called a “portfolio of research efforts”.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by researchers from the University of Oxford. The British drug manufacturer is already conducting mid-stage human trials on it. The company has been involved in several supply and manufacturing deals with the tenth deal sealed this week. Many analysts believe that AstraZeneca is at the forefront of possible vaccines for COVID-19.
Moderna in Advanced Clinical Trials
Another company, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) is also among the leaders in the quest for the vaccine. During the news conference, Soumya Swaminathan said Moderna is not far behind AstraZeneca. There are 200 candidates for the top spot. The WHO officials believe that AstraZeneca and Moderna are among the top 15 contenders in the race to develop the COVID-19 vaccine considering that they have all entered clinical trials.
“We do know that Moderna’s vaccine is also going to go into phase three clinical trials, probably from the middle of July, and so that vaccine candidate is not far behind”.
AstraZeneca has been praised due to its global reach in terms of where the company is conducting its trials. The WHO is also in talks with several companies from China such as Sinovac in the quest for the vaccine.