Oxford: Late-Stage Trial Results for Potential Vaccine ‘Likely This Year’
The University of Oxford was hoping to present within the year the results of its late-stage trial on a potential vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), raising hopes that the United Kingdom could finally roll out a cure for the deadly virus.
“I’m optimistic that we could reach that point (late-stage trial) before the end of this year,” Oxford Vaccine Trial Chief Investigator Andrew Pollard was quoted as telling British lawmakers in his presentation of the trial results for the year.
Pollard said results on whether or not the vaccine would work would likely come this year, after which data would be reviewed by regulators who would then decide on who should get the vaccine.
“Our bit—we are getting closer to but we are not there yet,” he said.
He added that the possibility of a vaccine before Christmas has a little chance.
The University of Oxford partnered with British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, with the team being just one of the frontrunners in the COVID-19 vaccine search, along with Pfizer and BioNTech.
Meanwhile, UK Vaccine Taskforce chairman Kate Bingham told lawmakers she hoped positive interim data from both Oxford-AstraZeneca and PfizerBioNTech in early December.
“If we get that then I think we have got the possibility of deploying by the year-end,” she added.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was confident a potential vaccine would be ready by the first quarter of 2021.
Since emerging in China late last year, the disease has so far infected 47.5 million people globally and claimed the lives of 1.21 million. Some 31.6 million are trying to recover.
It has also dampened global economies, ordered businesses to shut down, and dragged people to unemployment.
Should the vaccine work, Pollard said the world would be allowed to return to some measure of normalcy.
“I think good is having vaccines that have significant efficacy—so whether, I mean, that is 50, 60, 70, 80 percent, whatever the figure is—is an enormous achievement,” he said.
“It means from a health system point of view, there are fewer people with COVID going into hospital, that people who develop cancer can have their operations of chemotherapy—it’s a complete game-changer and a success if we meet those efficacy endpoints.”
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