AsraZeneca may run another international clinical trial on its coronavirus vaccine, after its results come under scrutiny.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
A statement describing the error came days after the company and the university described the shots as “highly effective” and made no mention of why some study participants didn’t receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected.
“Now that we’ve found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study,” CEO Pascal Soriot tells Bloomberg.
He says it would likely be another “international study, but this one could be faster because we know the efficacy is high so we need a smaller number of patients.”
In a surprise, the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. In the low-dose group, AstraZeneca said, the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective. In the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62% effective. Combined, the drugmakers said the vaccine appeared to be 70% effective. But the way in which the results were arrived at and reported by the companies has led to pointed questions from experts.
— with AP