The vaccine trials being conducted by Oxford University and U.K. Pharma giant AstraZeneca have been cleared to resume, possibly giving a lift to financial markets on Monday’s open.
The U.K. Medicines Health Regulatory Authority recommended that the study resume after an independent review of the safety data triggered a pause on Sept. 6, Oxford said in a statement. It declined to disclose details about the volunteer’s illness, reported Bloomberg. Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa said Saturday it received information from AstraZeneca allowing it to consider a resumption of testing.
“The independent review process has concluded and following the recommendations of both the independent safety review committee and the U.K. regulator, the MHRA, the trials will recommence in the U.K.,” declared Oxford in a statement.
AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said on Thursday that the vaccine could still be available by the end of the year. An independent safety board was reviewing whether the participant’s illness had been caused by the vaccine or was unrelated, he said.
Soriot said it wasn’t clear whether the participant had a condition called transverse myelitis, a suspected diagnosis. NIH Director Francis Collins told a Senate committee Wednesday the trial had been halted due to a “spinal cord problem.”
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the restart, saying in a tweet that it was “good news for everyone” that the trial is “back up and running,” reported Associated Press.
CDMedia voiced our concerns over the timing of the ‘pause’ last week here, right before the U.S. presidential election in November, which could hurt President Trump’s chances.
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared last week ‘she was pleased’ at the trials being halted.