AstraZeneca Pharma shares dip over 3% after it halts Covid vaccine trials

Shares of AstraZeneca Pharma, closed over 3 per cent lower on Wednesday after its COVID-19 vaccine study was paused following a participant's unexplained illness.

The stock, which tumbled 13.40 per cent to Rs 3,650 during the day on the BSE, later recovered most of the lost ground and closed at Rs 4,074.15, 3.34 per cent lower.

On the NSE, it closed 3.80 per cent lower at Rs 4,070 after tanking 12.31 per cent to Rs 3,710 during the day.

The human trials of one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates, being developed by the University of Oxford, has been put on hold after a UK participant had an adverse reaction to it.

AstraZeneca, the biopharmaceutical giant in tie-up with the university to produce the vaccine, described the pause as a "routine" one following what was an unexplained illness".

The trials had moved into Phase III after successful Phase I and II testing had raised worldwide hopes of it being ready by early next year as results showed that it produced a positive immune response.

The vaccine moved to Phase III testing in recent weeks, involving around 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow a review of safety data by an independent committee, said a spokesperson for AstraZeneca on Tuesday evening.

This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials. In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully, the spokesperson said.

Stressing that the adverse reaction involved only a single patient, the spokesperson added that the team is working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel