AstraZeneca in focus ahead of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine data next week

AstraZeneca in focus ahead of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine data next week

Pressure is growing on AstraZeneca to deliver positive results from early tests evaluating the coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with University of Oxford researchers as investors await data expected on Monday.

The UK pharma company is staying quiet after British media reports said results of phase 1 tests to be published in The Lancet medical journal were promising, driving the shares up this week. 

A paper is undergoing final editing and preparation and is due to be published on July 20, The Lancet said.

The trial started in April and saw more than 1,000 shots tested on healthy adult volunteers.

AstraZeneca has said that it will sell the shot at cost during the pandemic crisis. 

Its shares eased 1.6% in Thursday after surging over 5% the previous day. 

A spokesman for the Cambridge-based Astra declined to comment.

The vaccine results will be closely scrutinised as governments around the world seek to end a pandemic that’s killed almost 600,000 people and triggered economic turmoil since erupting earlier this year. 

Moderna, another front-runner, released results on Tuesday from an early-stage test in 45 people that showed its vaccine raised levels of antibodies that fight the virus.

The Oxford vaccine has already begun final-stage testing. AstraZeneca has said it may begin delivering doses of the vaccine to the UK as early as September. 

Easrlier this week, European stocks rose to the highest level in more than a month, tracking global gains on optimism over progress in developing a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The vaccine by US biotech company Moderna produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial, federal researchers said.

- Bloomberg

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