AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine could still be available by the end of the year, or early next year, according to the company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, despite clinical trials being paused after a volunteer fell ill.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which are jointly developing the vaccine and testing it on 50,000 to 60,000 people around the world, halted trials on Wednesday to investigate the “potentially unexpected illness” of one participant.
Soriot was unable to say when the trial would resume, but said “I still think we are on track for having a set of data that we would submit before the end of the year” for regulatory approval.
They “could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, early next year”, depending on how fast the regulator moves, he added.
Speaking at an event hosted by the media group Tortoise, the AstraZeneca boss said it was not unusual to pause trials because of “adverse events”.
“It’s very common, actually, and many experts will tell you this,” he said. “The difference with other vaccine trials is the whole world is not watching them. They stop, they study and they restart.”
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