Trump Mulls Fast-tracking AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Before Election: Report

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering fast tracking UK-based drug maker AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine candidate to make it available in the U.S. ahead of the presidential election in November, the Financial Times reported.

The report comes just as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization or EUA for investigational convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The blood from those people who have recovered from the disease is called convalescent plasma.

The coronavirus has infected more than 5.7 million people in the U.S., while the death toll has risen to more than 176,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

AstraZeneca is developing the potential coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, in partnership with the University of Oxford. The company has received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop the vaccine.

In late April, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford entered into an agreement for the global development and distribution of the University’s potential recombinant adenovirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection from SARS-CoV-2.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca would be responsible for development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine.

In July 2020, interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial, led by Oxford University, were published in The Lancet. The interim results showed AZD1222 was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants.

The vaccine is now in late-stage Phase II/III trials that are currently underway in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, and are due to start in the U.S., Japan and Russia. The results are anticipated later in the year.

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