AstraZeneca is the latest drugmaker to announce promising Phase 3 trial results from its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
On Monday, AstraZeneca said its two-shot vaccine candidate has been 90% effective thus far along with no safety concerns.
“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives," said Professor Andrew Pollard, the chief executive of the study. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”
The company added in its press release that its vaccine candidate offers two distinct advantages over vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna — it's cheaper to produce, and does not need to be stored in ultra-cold conditions before use.
AstraZeneca added that the company would "immediately" prepare regulatory paperwork to seek Emergency Use Listing status from the World Health Organization.
AstraZeneca is just the latest drug company to report encouraging results from its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Last week, Pfizer said it had submitted Emergency Use Authorization paperwork to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) after a final analysis of its vaccine candidate proved to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19. The FDA is expected to approve the drug in the coming weeks.
Moderna has also said that early results show its vaccine candidate to be 95% effective, and is on track to have the drug approved for Emergency Use Authorization by the end of the year.
AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna are all shattering records for vaccine development. The three vaccines are all on track to be approved for widespread use in uder a year. Typically, it takes several years for a vaccine to go from development to approval.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 is spreading around the world at a rate not previously seen since the pandemic began. And while all three companies are pre-producing their vaccines in the hope that it will be approved, health experts warn that they won't be widely available until spring 2021.