Oxford and AstraZeneca are resuming coronavirus vaccine trials after a participant fell ill

astrazeneca covid vaccine
Capped vials are seen during filling and packaging tests for the large-scale production and supply of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.

Clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have resumed in the United Kingdom, the company said Saturday in a press release.

The statement said the UK Medicines Health Regulatory Authority approved trials to resume after an independent review of data "triggered a voluntary pause" on September 6. STAT reported on September 8 that the company had paused the Phase 3 study after a "suspected serious adverse reaction" in a UK-based participant and The New York Times cited a person familiar with the situation to report that the participant was diagnosed with an inflammatory condition that affects the spinal cord and is "often sparked by viral infections." 

The company did not acknowledge reports of an adverse reaction in its statement on resuming trials, but said "the UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume."

Read more: There are 176 coronavirus vaccines in the works. Here's how top drugmakers see the race for a cure playing out in 2020 and 2021 and when the first shots might be available.

Temporary halts are common in vaccine trials, but the pause on the front-runner for the coronavirus raised eyebrows earlier this month as at least 176 ongoing research efforts as medical leaders in countries across the world race to deliver a vaccine to get a hold on the coronavirus pandemic.

AstraZeneca's CEO Pascal Soriot said last week that despite the halt in trials, it "is still feasible" the company's vaccine will be ready by the end of the year.

Soriot said Thursday that AstraZeneca is "on track for having a set of data that we would submit before the end of the year," Business Insider previously reported.

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