AstraZeneca (AZN) Resuming UK Trials Of COVID-19 Vaccine

By Annie Baker ● September 12, 2020
  • AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) announced it resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222) after receiving clearance from the UK regulatory agency Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA)

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) announced it resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222) after receiving clearance from the UK regulatory agency Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The late-stage trials of its experimental vaccine — which is developed with researchers from the University of Oxford — was temporarily suspended due to an illness with a subject in Britain.

“On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators. The UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume,” said AstraZeneca in a statement. “AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, as the trial sponsor, cannot disclose further medical information. All trial investigators and participants will be updated with the relevant information and this will be disclosed on global clinical registries, according to the clinical trial and regulatory standards.”

The patient who was involved in the study reportedly suffered neurological symptoms associated with a spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is currently in late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. Britain, Brazil, and South Africa and additional trials will be rolled out in Japan and Russia. And the pause of trials started after there were reports that the U.S. was looking to fast-track the authorization of an approval before the presidential election in November.

Leading U.S. and European vaccine developers have pledged to uphold scientific safety and efficacy standards for their experimental vaccines and not bow to political pressures to rush the process.

AstraZeneca has committed to supplying nearly 3 billion doses to governments around the world.

AZD1222 is being jointly developed with Oxford University. Other companies that are developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates include Pfizer and Moderna.