New trial expected for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

pharmafile | November 27, 2020 | News story | Medical Communications  

AstraZeneca is expected to launch new global trials to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine using a lower dosage. 

This is according to its Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot. Instead of adding more trials to its ongoing study in the US, the company may simply launch an entirely new one for the new dosage. Soriot told Bloomberg: “Now that we’ve found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study.” 

This follows the company facing scrutiny about the success rate of the vaccine. Experts have raised doubts about the reliability of the results the company has released. On Monday, it said the vaccine was 90% effective in a sub group of trial participants who, by error, received a half dose followed by a full dose. A peer reviewed analysis of the trial will be published in a medical journal in the coming weeks. 

The vaccine is still one of the more likely candidates to get approval before the end of the year. Britain has asked its regulator, the MHRA, whether the vaccine candidate is meeting the correct safety standard to help acquire a temporary supply, in order to help facilitate an inoculation programme that will begin before the end of the year. The company believes that four million doses will be available for the UK next month. 

Conor Kavanagh

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