Formula for success
In November, the drug showed an average of 70% protection against coronavirus. According to AstraZeneca's chief executive, subsequent trials will demonstrate that it can compete with vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
Anglo-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is working with the University of Oxford to develop the AZD1222 covid vaccine, has identified a formula that could boost the drug's effectiveness. The company's CEO, Pascal Soriot revealed this in an interview.
Pascal said: "We think we have identified a formula for success and a way to achieve the same high efficacy rates as the others after administering two doses".
In mid-November, the company said that experts had tested two variants of the vaccine administration that showed different efficacy. In one group of 2,700 volunteers, subjects were given half a dose of the drug before getting the full dose a month later. There, the effectiveness of the vaccine reached 90 per cent. The other 9,000 subjects received two full doses, with an efficacy rate of 62%. AstraZeneca estimated the average efficacy of the drug to be 70%.
Soriot admitted that the results surprised him. "But overall we thought they were positive, as they met the criteria set by regulatory bodies around the world", said the chief executive. In addition, he added, the drug AZD1222 was 100 per cent effective in protecting against severe forms of the disease requiring hospitalisation. However, AstraZeneca faced criticism after the results were announced and its shares fell 3.8%.
Now, according to Pascal Soriot, the subsequent trials of the vaccine will show that it can compete with drugs from Pfizer (PFZ) and BioNTech (BNT), the effectiveness of which the developers have assessed at 95%, and Moderna (according to the company, in the initial analysis the effectiveness of the drug was 94.1%, and in severe cases 100%).