AstraZeneca ahead in COVID-19 vaccine race, says WHO
The British drugmaker has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford.
New Delhi: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said on Friday.
Soumya Swaminathan said that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was also “not far behind” Astrazeneca’s, among more than 200 candidates, 15 of which have entered clinical trials.
The British drugmaker has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford. This week, AstraZeneca signed its tenth supply-and-manufacturing deal.
The WHO is in talks with multiple Chinese manufacturers, including Sinovac (SVA.O), on potential vaccines, as well as with Indian researchers, Swaminathan said.
She called for drugmakers to consider collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine trials, similar to the WHO’s ongoing Solidarity trial for drugs. A WHO-led coalition fighting the pandemic on Friday asked the government and private sector donors to help raise $31.3 billion in the next 12 months to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines for the disease. The initiative is called the ACT-Accelerator.