New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days after AstraZeneca put on hold the late-stage trials of a coronavirus candidate vaccine, the pharmaceutical firm’s Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said he still expects the vaccine to be out by as early as the end of the year.

"We could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, early next year," Soriot said at an event hosted by the Tortoise media group on Thursday, as quoted in a report by news agency ANI. The CEO said it is common to have such pauses in trials. “Even so, I still think we are on track for having a set of data that we would submit before the end of the year (for regulatory approval).”

The Phase III trails of the much-awaited vaccine being jointly developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca were halted after one of the volunteers got sick with transverse myelitis, a rare neurological condition that results in the inflammation of parts of the spinal cord.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times newspaper has reported that the pharmaceutical firm may resume the clinical trials of the vaccine early next week.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to manufacture their experimental COVID-19 vaccine in India, has also halted its trails after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) issued a show-cause notice to the institute. The Phase I and Phase II trails of the vaccine in India have completed and the institute was scheduled to begin the Phase III trials from the next week.


Posted By: Lakshay Raja