In July, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Oxford University published early-stage results from the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of their AZD1222 vaccine candidate, confirming that they observed safety and strong immune responses. The vaccine uses a non-replicating chimpanzee adenovirus to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to induce an immune response.
In early September, the company and university announced that they had voluntarily paused trial activity in the UK so an independent committee could review safety data surrounding a single event of an unexplained illness that occurred there. The Phase 3 vaccine trial resumed in the UK on September 12 following confirmation from the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to proceed.
In the U.S., however, the trial is still on hold. Department of Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar told CNBC on Wednesday that the vaccine’s approval would be “based on science, data and the law.”