AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90 percent effective without any serious side effects, the latest drugmaker to unveil positive interim data in a scientific race to curb a global pandemic.
“This vaccine's efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” Pascal Soriot, Astra's chief executive, said in a statement.
The British drugmaker's preliminary trial results mark a fresh breakthrough in the fight against a pandemic that has killed nearly 1.4 million people and roiled the global economy.
The interim analysis was based on 131 infections among participants who received the vaccine and those in a control group who were given an established meningitis shot.
The data comes after US rivals published interim data in recent weeks showing efficacy of more than 90 percent.
On November 16, US-based Moderna Inc said its experimental vaccine proved to be 94.5 percent effective based on an early data analysis.
A week earlier, Pfizer Inc and Germany's BioNTech SE said their vaccine candidate had demonstrated greater than 90 percent efficacy that rose to 95 percent with analysis of full trial data.
Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine on Nov. 11 was also shown to be more than 90 percent effective, though only based on 20 infections.