(Adding details throughout)
By Alistair Bell and Kate Kelland
LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Oxford University will start an
initial analysis of data from its late-stage trial of the
experimental COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with AstraZeneca
after 53 infections among its volunteers, the study's
chief investigator said on Thursday.
The Oxford Vaccine Group's director, Andrew Pollard, said in
a media briefing there were "lots of cases" of infections in its
Phase III trial in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.
The first two sets of interim data from vaccine trials from
Pfizer and BioNTech last week and Moderna
on Monday were released after more than 90 infections
Pfizer had planned to publish initial data after about 60
infections, but it exceeded its target after the big jump in
infections recently in the United States.
Pollard's comments came after data published on Thursday
showed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Phase II studies
produced a strong immune response in older adults, suggesting
that those at higher risk of serious illness and death from
COVID-19 could be protected.
Pollard said there was no attempt to release the study in
the same week as those companies' data, the first from
late-stage vaccine trials, but rather the study happened to be
ready for publication.
Earlier on Thursday, he said he expected Phase III data to
be released by Christmas.
The Phase III results showing efficacy of the vaccine will
be released via AstraZeneca, in the same way they have been
published by other drugmakers over the past week or so, Pollard
He said the trial would also publish the findings in a
peer-reviewed medical journal but initial data would likely be
released before then.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Kate Kelland; Writing by
Josephine Mason; Editing by Alex Richardson and Nick Macfie)