AstraZeneca to launch a new global trial for its COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca to launch a new global trial for its COVID-19 vaccine
Written by:
Wajeeh Khan
November 27, 2020
  • AstraZeneca to launch a new global trial for its COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The new trial will assess the efficacy of vaccine at lower dosage.
  • The Pharmaceutical firm to deliver 4 million doses in Britain this year.

In a statement on Thursday, CEO Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca plc (LON: AZN) expressed plans of launching a new global trial that will study the efficacy of its Coronavirus vaccine at a lower dosage.

AstraZeneca opened more than 1% down on Friday. It is currently trading close to the same per-share price at which it started the year 2020. The company shares that you can learn to buy online here, have recovered roughly 25% since a year to date low in March.

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AstraZeneca’s vaccine is more effective at lower dosage

The pharmaceutical giant published interim results of its late-stage trial earlier this week that showed its COVID-19 vaccine had an efficacy of 70% on average. The late-stage trial also suggested that the vaccine was more effective at a lower dosage as compared to a full dosage. The new trial, CEO Soriot said, will not be merged with the company’s ongoing study in the United States.

Healthcare experts and scientists have raised questions on the success rate of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in recent days. Since it showed an efficacy of 90% only in participants that received half a dose first (by error initially) and then a full dose after at least a month, many speculate the pharmaceutical firm to face challenges in getting quick regulatory approval from the U.S. and EU.

Soriot, however, expressed confidence on Thursday that the new trial won’t cause delays in receiving regulatory approvals in the United Kingdom and Europe at large. Britain already asked its medicine regulator on Friday to assess AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for temporary supply.

AstraZeneca to deliver 4 million doses in Britain this year

AstraZeneca is hopeful to deliver 4 million doses of its vaccine before the start of the new year in Britain. Chief Scientific Adviser for the British government, Patrick Vallance, expressed confidence in AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Thursday and said that the bottom line of the late-stage trial was that the vaccine worked.

Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty also held a similar opinion and said:

“The key thing from our point of view is to leave this in the hands of the regulator. They will make an assessment with lots of data that is not currently in the public domain on efficacy and on safety.”

At the time of writing, AstraZeneca is valued at £101.68 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 54.52.