(Reuters) - AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most advanced candidates in the race to beat the coronavirus, and following Pfizer and BioNTech’s trial data in early November, eyes are now on the British company as expectations run high.
AstraZeneca confirmed in November that eagerly awaited data from late-stage clinical trials is expected by the end of this year, delaying planned deliveries of shots to the British government as a summer dip in infections pushed back test results.
Pfizer and BioNTech, meanwhile, said their experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective, based on initial data. AstraZeneca called the data “incredibly promising” and said it was encouraging for other vaccine developers.
AstraZeneca has signed supply and manufacturing deals around the world for the vaccine, which data in October showed produces a immune response in both old and young adults.
Although drugmakers and researchers are also working on various treatments, vaccines are at the heart of the long-term fight to stop the virus, which has killed more than 1.2 million people, infected nearly 51 million and crippled the global economy.
Developed by the University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca in April, the vaccine could be one of the first from big pharma to secure regulatory approval, along with the Pfizer/BioNTech candidate.
Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka, Tanishaa Nadkar and Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey, Mark Potter, Louise Heavens, Alexander Smith, Kirsten Donovan, Nick Macfie
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