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AstraZeneca says Pfizer results encouraging for vaccine developers

Nov 9 (Reuters) - An AstraZeneca executive said he felt encouraged by “incredibly promising” large-scale COVID-19 vaccine trial results unveiled by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday.

Speaking at a Financial Times online conference on healthcare, Astra senior executive team member Ruud Dobber said the first efficacy data release made him optimistic that Astra too would be able to follow up on positive results from early-stage trials.

Pfizer and BioNTech’s experimental vaccine was shown to be more than 90% effective based on initial late-stage trial results, the companies said on Monday.

AstraZeneca, working with the University of Oxford, expects to report late-stage trial data on its COVID-19 immunisation before year-end.

“What we have seen in Phase I and Phase II - whether it is Pfizer or AstraZeneca with our Oxford vaccine - is that if you are able to generate neutralising antibodies and a good T-cell response that you can make the virus less hostile,” Dobber said.

“The efficacy shown earlier today is incredibly promising and I really hope that more vaccine producers will showcase more or less the same results sooner rather than later,” he added. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Pushkala Aripaka; Editing by Jan Harvey)