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UPDATE 1-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate begins late-stage U.S. study

Mon, 31st Aug 2020 23:37

(Adds details on the trial, background)

Aug 31 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc said on Monday it
has begun enrolling adults for a U.S.-funded, 30,000-subject
late-stage study of its high profile COVID-19 vaccine
candidate.

Trial participants will receive either two doses of the
experimental vaccine, dubbed AZD1222, four weeks apart, or a
placebo, the company said.

The trial is being conducted under U.S. government's
Operation Warp Speed program, which aims to accelerate
development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and
treatments for COVID-19.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said a vaccine for the novel
coronavirus could be available before the Nov. 3 presidential
election, much sooner than most experts anticipate.

AstraZeneca, which is developing its vaccine in conjunction
with Oxford University researchers, and Pfizer Inc with
partner BioNTech SE have said they could have data by
October to support U.S. emergency use authorization or approval
of their respective vaccines.

AZD1222 is already undergoing late-stage clinical trials in
Britain, Brazil and South Africa, with additional trials planned
in Japan and Russia. The trials, together with the U.S. Phase
III study, aim to enroll up to 50,000 participants globally.

The U.S. trial will evaluate whether the vaccine can prevent
COVID-19 infection or keep the illness from becoming severe, the
National Institutes of Health said in a statement https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/phase-3-clinical-testing-us-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-begins.

It also will assess if the vaccine can reduce incidence of
emergency department visits due to COVID-19.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill
Berkrot)

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