Sep 14, 2020
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Clinical trials of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine resume in UK

The UK Health Regulatory Authority has allowed further research after examining data on the disease of one of the volunteers. The health information of the injured participant was not disclosed.

Ekaterina Evchenko

The British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have resumed the third phase of clinical trials of an adenovirus vaccine against coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. Research was suspended last week after one of the participants was diagnosed with a serious illness. Western media disseminated information that after the administration of the drug, the volunteer was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord. An independent investigation was carried out over several days, during which it was required to establish whether the disease was a side effect of the vaccine. As noted by Bloomberg, the Oxford team refused to disclose the health data of the injured volunteer.

Note that the drug, created by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford scientists, is one of the favorites in the international vaccine race. The third phase of clinical trials involves about 30,000 volunteers from the United States, Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa. The drug is a vaccine based on the chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAdOx1), which is safe for humans. This virus is genetically modified to encode the coronavirus spike protein. When it enters the human body, it forces cells to produce the coronavirus protein and "trains" the immune system to recognize it. A vector vaccine against COVID-19 with a similar mechanism of action was also created by the team of the N.N. Gamaleys in Russia.

In May, AstraZeneca signed a $ 1.2 billion deal with the United States to conduct clinical trials and supply 300 million doses of the vaccine. The pharmaceutical giant has also entered into deals worldwide to supply 3 billion doses of the drug.

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