Coronavirus vaccine: AstraZeneca join the lead


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British Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) reported the late-stage trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine was highly effective. AstraZeneca became the third pharmaceutical firm to report its effective coronavirus vaccine, only a few days after US biotech firms Moderna and Pfizer said their Covid-19 vaccine candidates were more than 90% effective. Both the companies have announced that they will start distributing the vaccine as soon as they receive approval from the FDA.

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19” AstraZeneca CEO, Pascal Soriot said. Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca shares closed slightly lower on Monday because its COVID-19 vaccine on average is just 70% effective, compared with Moderna and Pfizer.

As per the recent report, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) will likely be the first vaccine to reach the market. On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech SE already submitted a request to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of their mRNA vaccine candidate. The vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large. Pfizer has a $1.95 billion agreement with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine, with an option for another 500 million.


On November 17, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) announced the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273. The trial has met the statistical criteria pre-specified in the study protocol for efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5 per cent. By the end of 2020, Moderna expects to produce approximately 20 million doses of its mRNA-1273 vaccine.

Pfizer and Moderna are using experimental technology that employs mRNA while AstraZeneca’s vaccine, called AZD1222, is based on time-tested technology that has been genetically modified to stimulate an immune response against the coronavirus.

On the other hand, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: REGN) has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration for their COVID-19 antibody therapy. A similar antibody treatment, from Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), was also granted emergency approval earlier this month.

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