page headers Coronavirus

Pfizer results encouraging: AstraZeneca

shutterstock 1692105757

AstraZeneca says it's encouraged by "incredibly promising" COVID-19 vaccine trial data unveiled by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.

Speaking at a Financial Times online healthcare conference on Monday, AstraZeneca senior executive Ruud Dobber said the first set of efficacy data from a large-scale study made him optimistic it too would be able to follow up on positive results from early-stage trials.

US drugmaker Pfizer and BioNTech's experimental vaccine was shown to be more than 90 per cent effective based on initial late-stage trial results, the companies said earlier in the day.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca, working with the University of Oxford, expects to report late-stage trial data on its COVID-19 immunisation, another frontrunner, before year-end.

Pre-approval manufacturing of its vaccine began in Australia on Monday.

"What we have seen in Phase I and Phase II - whether it is Pfizer or AstraZeneca with our Oxford vaccine - is that if you are able to generate neutralising antibodies and a good T-cell response that you can make the virus less hostile," Dobber said.

"The efficacy shown earlier today is incredibly promising and I really hope more vaccine producers will showcase more or less the same results sooner rather than later," he added.

The Pfizer/BioNTech results were hailed by many as a gamechanger, including US President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, who have taken different approaches to tackle the pandemic and general healthcare.

Dobber's message to Biden and his administration was to "embrace innovation, be critical but embrace innovation ... Let's find a dialogue and let's not fight too much about the political colour."

Biden on Monday said a vaccine approval process must be guided by science, warning a vaccine likely will not be available for months.

Dobber also added that he foresees a strengthening of the Affordable Care Act under Biden, who has been very vocal of the benefits of the program implemented when he was vice president.

© RAW 2020