AstraZeneca CEO: COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteer had neurological symptoms- STAT

FILE PHOTO: Chief Executive of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot leaves after appearing at a commons science committee hearing at Portcullis House in London May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca said a woman in the United Kingdom had symptoms consistent with a rare but serious spinal inflammatory disorder, which led to the British drugmaker’s decision to stop its clinical study of the new coronavirus vaccine, Stat News reported on Wednesday.

The participant was recovering and will likely be discharged from the hospital as early as today, according to Stat News, which said the new disclosures by Astra Chief Executive Pascal Soriot were shared by three of the investors participating on conference calls. (

The London-listed firm said late Tuesday it would pause global trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after an unexplained illness in a study participant.

A separate report from the Financial Times noted that AstraZeneca could resume trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine next week, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. (

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the reports.

The company’s shares closed 0.5% higher at 8,230 pence on Wednesday. They slipped earlier in the day as the halt was seen as dimming prospects for an early rollout of the vaccine hopeful seen among the leading candidates.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Bernard Orr