A COVID-19 vaccine developed by researchers at Oxford University generated an immune response against the disease in Phase-1 trial, The Telegraph reported even as the official publication of the results is awaited. The Oxford vaccine candidate is believed to be leading the race among over 100 to find effective protection against the disease.
Oxford scientists have found that the jab triggers a response that may offer a "double defense" against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, The Telegraph report said on Wednesday. The vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute.
Aiming To Deliver Two Billion Doses
Oxford in April announced an agreement with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for further development, large-scale manufacture, and potential distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
While the Phase-1 trial of the vaccine candidate began in April itself, a start of the Phase2/Phase-3 UK trial of the Oxford vaccine, named AZD1222, in about 10,000 adult volunteers, was announced in May.
However, the results of the Phase-1 trial were still awaited. In June, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told Belgian radio station Bel RTL that the Oxford vaccine will likely provide protection against the disease for one year. "We think it will protect for about a year," Soriot was quoted as saying. According to a report in City A.M., AstraZeneca is aiming to deliver two billion doses of the drug by the end of the year.
Agreement With Producers
The drugmaker had earlier said it had reached an agreement with Europe's Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020.
The company completed similar agreements with the UK, the US, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for 700 million doses, and it agreed on a license with the Serum Institute of India for the supply of an additional one billion doses, principally for low- and middle-income countries.