Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said on Thursday that whether the company’s Covid-19 vaccine is effective or not will be known by the end of July.
The development and distribution of the vaccine, which is currently being researched by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, has been done by it in partnership with the Oxford University, the company announced on Thursday.
According to the agreement that the company had entered into with Oxford University, the responsibility for the worldwide manufacturing and supply of Oxford’s vaccine will rest with AstraZeneca. Phase one clinical trials for the vaccine started last week.
Whether the coronavirus vaccine was effective or not will be known to the company within months, said AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot in an interview with BBC Radio.
“By June, July we will already have a very good idea of the direction of travel in terms of its potential efficacy,” he said.
AstraZeneca would be supplying the vaccine at cost for the duration of the pandemic, Soriot added
“It is definitely a risk to launch into the development of the vaccine but now is the time to take those kinds of risks,” he said in the interview. “This is a terrible crisis we’re facing and … a vaccine is of course the number one tool we can bring to managing this.”
It would be as early as May that the data from the preliminary human trials could be made available. AstraZeneca also said on Thursday. The next stage, ort the late stage for trials for the vaccine has been projected to begin by the middle of this year, the company also added.
The partnership with AstraZeneca would be “a major force in the struggle against pandemics for many years to come,” said John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, in a press release on Thursday.
“We believe that together we will be in a strong position to start immunising against coronavirus once we have an effective approved vaccine,” he said. “Sadly, the risk of new pandemics will always be with us and the new research centre will enhance the world’s preparedness and our speed of reaction the next time we face such a challenge.”
According to the World Health Organization, currently there are at least 89 possible vaccines that are being worked upon globally. According to prediction of experts, anything between 12 and 18 months will be required for the development and final commissioning of a vaccine for the coronavirus ailment to be available in the market for usage.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)