Bengaluru — UK pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca says Britain’s health regulator had started an accelerated review of its potential coronavirus vaccine.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson said on Sunday that the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had begun a rolling review of our potential Covid-19 vaccine”.

In rolling reviews, regulators can see clinical data in real time and communicate with drug makers on manufacturing processes and trials to accelerate the approval process.

The approach is designed to speed up evaluation of promising drugs or vaccines during a public health emergency.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is being developed with the University of Oxford. Bloomberg reported on Friday that MHRA had also begun an accelerated review for the Covid-19 vaccine candidate from Pfizer.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer are among leaders in the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, with the race also including Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. Their vaccine candidates are in late-stage trials, and interim information is expected in coming weeks.

The British drug maker said last week that its Covid-19 experimental vaccine produced an immune response in old and young adults and a lower adverse responses among the elderly.

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1.19-million people globally, damaged the world economy and turned life upside down for billions.

Work began on the Oxford vaccine in January. Called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the viral vector vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.




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