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AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine Is World’s Leading Candidate and May Deliver Results Earlier, Says WHO

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 Jun 2020
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The experimental COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca (Cambridgeshire, England) is possibly the world’s leading candidate and the most advanced in terms of development, according to the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Certainly in terms of how advanced they are, the stage at which they are, they are I think probably the leading candidate,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference. “So it’s possible they will have results quite early.”

A report by Reuters has stated that AstraZeneca had already commenced large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine developed by researchers at University of Oxford and recently signed its 10th supply-and-manufacturing deal. According to Swaminathan, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was “not far behind” that of AstraZeneca and among more than 200 candidates, 15 had entered clinical trials.

“We do know that Moderna’s vaccine is also going to go into phase three clinical trials, probably from the middle of July, and so that vaccine candidate is not far behind,” said Swaminathan. “But I think AstraZeneca certainly has a more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials.”

Swaminathan said that the WHO was in discussions with several Chinese manufacturers, including Sinovac, as well as with Indian researchers on potential vaccines and called for drugmakers to consider collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine trials.

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