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Interim analysis for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine finds 70% average efficacy

Published on 23/11/20 at 12:49pm
Image Credit: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Hot on the heels of Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech who both have released very promising data for their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates, AstraZeneca has now unveiled the first interim analysis data for its own vaccine against the virus, with all results showing statistically significance.

The candidate, AZD1222, is developed in partnership with the University of Oxford. Data drawn from ongoing trials of more than 23,000 participants in the UK and Brazil comparing AZD1222 to a meningococcal conjugate vaccine called MenACWY or saline injection. At the time of the the interim analysis conducted by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board, 131 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the study population.

According to the proportion of cases in the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, efficacy was found to be 62% in patients who received two full doses of the vaccine at least a month apart, but efficacy was as high as 90% in a group that received half the dosage, followed by a full dose at least a month later.

Overall, combined analysis from both of these regimens gives the vaccine an average efficacy of 70%.

“These  findings  show  that  we  have  an  effective  vaccine  that  will  save  many  lives,” remarked Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial. “Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks  to  the  many  volunteers  in  our  trial,  and  the  hard  working  and  talented  team  of  researchers based around the world.”

AstraZeneca said it was now moving to “immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data” for global regulators to secure early or conditional approval, and the company will also be filing for an Emergency Use Listing from the WHO to accelerate access to the vaccine in low-income nations. Full findings from the recent analysis are also due to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Matt Fellows

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