AstraZeneca expects COVID-19 phase 3 trial results ‘later this year’ after pause

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Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Wednesday that phase three trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine could be ready “later this year” in its third-quarter results announcement.

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The company previously said in September that it would know the effectiveness of its vaccine by the end of 2020. It had to temporarily pause trials, which have since resumed, after one patient involved in the trial fell unexpectedly ill.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AZN ASTRAZENECA PLC 55.65 +0.61 +1.11%

“Results from late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted,” the company said in its announcement. “Data readouts will be submitted to regulators and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.”

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The Food and Drug Administration put a temporary pause on the U.S. phase three trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine in September but lifted the pause on Oct. 23, according to the company.

The company also reported a 55% earnings increase to $1.17 billion from $757 million at the same time last year. The company’s stock has jumped in recent days after slumping in October.

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“In the fight against COVID-19, we advanced our vaccine collaboration with the University of Oxford and are launching phase three trials for our long-acting antibody combination for the prophylaxis and treatment against COVID-19 for people who need an immediate defense or whose weaker immune systems mean they are less likely to benefit from a vaccine,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a Wednesday statement.

Laboratory technicians work at the mAbxience biopharmaceutical company on an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and the laboratory AstraZeneca in Garin, Argentina.AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

An October analysis of the vaccine, produced in partnership with Oxford University, showed positive immune response results and few negative reactions among older adults, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Johnson & Johnson also resumed its COVID-19 vaccine trial after a temporary pause in October following a similar unexpected illness with a patient. Pfizer’s Oct. 27 earnings report said the company’s phase two trial of its COVID-19 vaccine was “well tolerated with mild to moderate fever in fewer than 20% of the participants … across all populations.”

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JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 140.14 +0.74 +0.53%
PFE PFIZER INC. 36.69 -0.65 -1.74%

The Trump administration has ordered 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with the option to purchase 500 million more, as part of its “Operation Warp Speed” plan to start distributing a COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end, according to the Journal.

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Additionally, American pharmaceutical companies Moderna, Novavax and Eli Lilly are also in the final stages of the race to develop a vaccine.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MRNA MODERNA INC. 70.56 +0.75 +1.07%
NVAX NOVAVAX INC. 90.01 +2.74 +3.14%
LLY ELI LILLY & COMPANY 146.54 -2.03 -1.37%

President Trump said during the last presidential debate that a vaccine would be ready by the end of the year, in contrast with previous statements from administration officials who said it could take longer.

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