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AstraZeneca and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine generates "robust immune responses" in early interim data

Published on 21/07/20 at 11:29am
Image credit: Steve Cadman, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oxford_University_Colleges-All_Souls1.jpg

Interim Phase 1/2 findings have been released for the COVID-19 highly anticipated vaccine candidate in development from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, known as AZD1222 or the “Oxford vaccine”, showing early promise in generating “robust immune responses” against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The blinded, randomised controlled trial examined the effects of the vaccine compared to the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY, in 1,077 healthy participants between the ages of 15 and 55.

One month after administration, it was found that 95% of patients receiving AZD1222 displayed an increase of around 400% in antibodies to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A T-cell response was seen in all patients, peaking at day 14 and maintained for two months following initial treatment.  

One month after injection, 91% of patients showed neutralising activity, and this rose to 100% in the ten patients receiving two doses of the vaccine one month apart. In addition to this, transient local and systemic reactions were confirmed as common side-effects to the therapy, with no serious adverse events reported.

“The interim Phase 1/2 data for our coronavirus vaccine shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type,” explained Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the study. “The immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what we expect will be associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although we must continue with our rigorous clinical trial programme to confirm this.”

To this end, the therapy is currently undergoing testing in Phase 2/3 trials at sites across the UK, Brazil and South Africa, with another soon to launch in the US to determine its efficacy in a range of doses and in different patient age ranges.  

Maatt Fellows

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