AstraZeneca expects COVID-19 vaccine results by December

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Major drugmaker, AstraZeneca said they will have results from crucial studies of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, the company said Thursday.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot is one of four in the US currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials investigating their safety and effectiveness. AstraZeneca said results from its late-stage studies “are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted.”

“Data readouts will be submitted to regulators and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals,” the company said in its Thursday’s earnings report.

AstraZeneca is behind schedule on its efforts to produce and deliver its shot to the UK. Officials there had expected to receive 30 million doses of it by September but now anticipate getting just 4 million this year, according to Kate Bingham, chair of the nation’s vaccine task force.

The vaccine is being produced in bulk but can’t be packed into vials for use until more is known about when data from the late-stage research will arrive, Bingham said.

“We’ve not yet put them into vials because as soon as you put them into vials you start the clock for the … shelf life, or how quickly you have to use the vaccine,” Bingham told lawmakers Wednesday.

AstraZeneca released preliminary data two weeks ago showing its vaccine, developed with Oxford University, successfully produced an immune response. The data came as the FDA allowed the company to resume its Phase 3 study in the US after a participant’s illness forced it to pause in September.

AstraZeneca’s US-listed shares were up about 1.7 percent in premarket trading Thursday at $56.01 as of 7:38 a.m.

Complied with wire reports