Brazilian pediatrician Monica Levi, one of the volunteers who received the COVID-19 vaccine, works at the Specialized Clinic for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and Immunizations (CEDIPI) in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 24, 2020. The doctor is one of the 5,000 volunteers who took part in the phase 3 trials in Brazil – the last before homologation – of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in cooperation with the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Nelson Almeida | AFP | Getty Images
U.K. pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca expects vaccine data to be available on Thursday this year as it posted solid sales growth in the third quarter.
"Results from late-stage studies are expected later this year, depending on the rate of infection in the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted. The data will be submitted to regulatory agencies and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals," AstraZeneca said published its results.
The drugmaker said global product sales, excluding collaborative payments, increased 7% on constant currency to $ 6.52 billion in the three months ended September 30. That was ahead of a corporate consensus of $ 6.5 billion.
Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the results showed that the drug maker "made encouraging progress in the quarter despite the ongoing disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic". The company maintained its guidance for the full year.
High hopes have been placed on AstraZeneca this year as it is working with Oxford University to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine candidate, technical name AZD1222, is in late-stage clinical trials that are being conducted in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and the US and which will involve approximately 23,000 participants.
Trials in the UK and US recently had to be halted due to unexplained illnesses, but two participants were given the go-ahead by regulators to proceed if they were believed unrelated to the experimental vaccine.
Last Monday, the drug maker released an update on the vaccine's progress, saying it had triggered a similar immune response in older and younger adults.
The news raised hopes that a vaccine might be available by the end of the year, although the drug maker has already missed a target of dispensing 30 million doses (part of a 100 million doses deal signed with the UK government in May) of a Covid -19 Vaccine to the UK by September.
In June, several European nations signed a contract with AstraZeneca for up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, with the first batch expected by the end of the year.
On Wednesday, the head of the UK vaccine task force or procurement program admitted that the 30 million dose target had not been met by September and instead estimated the UK would receive 4 million doses by the end of the year, Reuters reported, and 100 million Cans "in the first half of next year".