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AstraZeneca Positive News on Coronavirus Vaccine

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are set to share “positive news” on their coronavirus vaccine.

AZD1222, a recombinant adenovirus vaccine candidate that originated in Oxford, moved into phase 2/3 in May on the strength of data from a 1,000-subject phase 1 trial. However, the researchers are yet to share clinical data from phase 1, leaving observers to argue over the results of a study conducted in monkeys to determine whether the vaccine is likely to work.

The potential vaccine is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response.

The developers of the vaccine said this month they were encouraged by the immune response they had seen in trials so far and we’re expecting to publish Phase 1 data by the end of July.

Robert Peston, a prominent journalist at British Broadcaster ITV said, “the vaccine is generating the kind of antibody and T-cell response that the researchers would hope to see.” That is all we have to go on at this stage, but the focus on T-cell response—in the Peston quote and other sources linked to the program—suggests the researchers may perceive that as a strength of the data or a bright spot amid underwhelming antibody results.

AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, says WHO’s, Chief Scientist.

A spokeswoman for Oxford University told Reuters the team was awaiting confirmation from a scientific journal of the publication date and time for the data but gave no further details. “(We) are not able to confirm when it will be released,” she said.

Peston said in a blog post: “I am hearing there will be positive news soon (perhaps tomorrow) on initial trials of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine that is backed by AstraZeneca.”

The data are expected to be published by The Lancet Medical Journal.