The University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, has announced that interim trial data from its Phase III trials show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a high level of protection.
Phase 3 interim analysis including 131 Covid-19 cases indicates that the vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective when combining data from two dosing regimens.
In the two different dose regimens vaccine efficacy was 90 per cent in one and 62 per cent in the other.
There were no hospitalised or severe cases in anyone who received the vaccine.
Crucially, vaccine can be easily administered in existing healthcare systems, stored at ‘fridge temperature’ (2-8 °C) and distributed using existing logistics. Large scale manufacturing is ongoing in over 10 countries to support equitable global access.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 per cent effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.’
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-2. We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca, said: “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 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency. Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”
The clinical trials, enrolling more than 24,000 participants from diverse racial and geographical groups in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, will now continue to final analysis. Further trials are being conducted in the United States, Kenya, Japan and India and the trial team expect to have under 60,000 participants by the end of the year. These trials will provide regulators with further information about the efficacy and safety of the Oxford candidate vaccine, including its ability to both protect against and stop the transmission of COVID-19.
Professor Karol Sikora, the British physician specialising in oncology and medical director of Rutherford Health, a company providing high-quality diagnostic imaging and the latest in advanced cancer treatments, added his support for the vaccine. He said:
“Oxford’s vaccine is cheap, easy to distribute and we now know it’s effective. Some good news to start the week. Not just for the UK, but this one is important for many countries across the world.”
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica, which is one of the manufacturing centres for the vaccine, said: “We are delighted to see the news today of the positive results from AstraZeneca for the COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222. We are working hard to provide AstraZeneca with multiple large-scale batches of AZD1222 from our recently-approved commercial manufacturing centre Oxbox. I am proud that Oxford Biomedica is part of the process that aims to bring normality back to many people around the world and I also personally want thank all our staff for their dedication and effort in production of the vaccine, whilst continuing to grow our core lentiviral vector business.”
The Oxford vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) is made from a virus, which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus), that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans.