Coronavirus: Astrazeneca/Oxford vaccine candidate looks promising, company data shows

November 23, 2020
Keith A. Reynolds

The company tested two different dosing regimens with one shown to be more effective.

The Astrazeneca/Oxford COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine candidate AZD1222 has shown high effectiveness against the disease in clinical trials in the U.K. and Brazil.

According to a news release, the company tested two possible dosing regimens. They found that one regimen, a half dose followed by a full dose a month later, showed a vaccine efficacy of 90 percent. The other testes regimen, two full doses at least a month apart, only showed 62 percent efficacy.

No hospitalizations or severe COVID-19 cases were reported in participants, and the release says the company will immediately prepare regulatory submissions for the candidate.

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic,” Pascal Soriot, CEO of Astrazeneca, says in the release. “This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency. Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”

On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted a request for emergency use authorization of their vaccine candidate, BNT162b2,from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after the companies announced the candidate showed 95 percent efficacy in patients not previously infected with COVID-19 and also those who have previously been infected beginning 28 days after the first dose which meets all of the study’s primary efficacy standpoints.

Earlier in the month, the Moderna vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 showed an efficacy rate of 94.5 percent in a Phase 3 study. The company says it intends to seek emergency use authorization for the candidate “in the coming weeks.”

Officials with Operation Warp Speed announced that about 40 million doses of BNT162b2 another promising vaccine candidate manufactured by Moderna could be available for distribution by the end of December, according to a report from Drug Topics.