AstraZeneca vaccine trials resume

Daniel Fowler
September 14, 2020

"We are delighted that AstraZeneca has resumed its trials and continues to move forward", said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is financing Sputnik V's development by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute.

Participants in the clinical trials will not be informed of which vaccine they are receiving.

Close on the heels of the AZ statement, Serum Institute of India said, "Once (the) DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) gives us the permission to restart the trials in India, we will resume the trials".

This COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed AZD1222, aka ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is being developed in association with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and is one of several now in late-stage Phase 3 trials. Moderna is now conducting phase III trials across the United States and has recruited 30,000 healthy people who are being administered the shots of this vaccine.

CanSino Biologics, a Chinese company, is developing a vaccine called Ad5-nCoV, based on Adenovirus known as Ad5, which is a common cold virus. "They have to be followed up for a certain length of time, a minimum of six months to be able to assess both on the protective efficacy and safety", she said, indicating that more details on the other Covid-19 vaccines in advanced trials would possibly be available by later this year or early next.

The AstraZeneca /Oxford partnership is one of the vaccine development efforts against the coronavirus that is furthest along.

The Oxford university vaccine trial has resumed.

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Emergency authorisation of the vaccine is also on the cards, indicated the minister during an interaction with his social media followers, "Jan Samvad", on Sunday. Oxford University, where the vaccine was developed, said in a separate statement that the nature of the illness can not be revealed "for reasons of participant confidentiality". Out of the nine vaccines that are in Phase 3, four are from China.

During the study, participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100 per cent of participants' blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.

"Instinctively I feel a little more comfortable with inactivated vaccines because we have a lot of experience with them", he said.

The late-stage studies were briefly halted this week after a test subject reported a side effect.

The CoronaVac is a vaccine which is being developed and produced by a private Chinese firm, SinoVac Biotech.

The Oxford coronavirus vaccine trials are back on after being suspended for an urgent investigation because a volunteer reportedly suffered potentially unsafe side effects.

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