Clinical trials of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate resumes in UK

Henrietta Strickland
September 15, 2020

The drugmaker and its partner, the University of Oxford, restarted the United Kingdom trial of the vaccine on Saturday after it was halted on September 6.

"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 worldwide regulators", the company said, adding, "The UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume".

Brazil has the third worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States and India and has become a sought-out testing ground for COVID-19 vaccines under development in Britain, China and Russian Federation.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the restart.

It is one of nine now in Phase 3 trials.

It is standard procedure to pause clinical trials when abnormal conditions appear. "So it's unfortunate that it happened".

After the pause, AstraZeneca had said it remained hopeful that the vaccine could still be available "by the end of this year, early next year". Volunteers from some of the worst affected countries - Britain, Brazil, South Africa and the US - are taking part in the trial.

The Briton who suffered the potentially risky side effects is expected to recover, but Oxford University says it "cannot disclose medical information about the illness for reasons of participant confidentiality".

Together with the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is on the list of WHO-monitored list of candidate vaccines on a quest to get approved for industrial production once they complete all three required phases of clinical trials.

It is not known if the disease is directly related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the NYT said.

Around 18,000 participants have had AZD1222 as part of the trial, AZ said. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been named Covishield in India.

The chief executive of the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines, Adar Poonawalla, has said dampened the hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine by year-end in an interview with the Financial Times. But the company said it will continue to work with health authorities across the world so that other clinical trials can resume.

Italy's health minister, Roberto Speranza, welcomed the resumption of the vaccine trial, but warned that prudence was still necessary.

Britain has secured access to up to 190 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from Valneva in deal worth as much as 1.37 billion euros, the French-Austrian vaccine firm said Monday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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