The pause stemmed from a standard review of the company's vaccine trials after one person developed an unexplained illness, AstraZeneca said in a statement.
World Health Organization officials did not immediately respond directly to questions from Reuters over the move by AstraZeneca to pause global trials, including large late-stage trials, of its experimental coronavirus vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.
One of the most promising vaccine candidates is the AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company.More news: Donald Trump, US president, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2021
AstraZeneca is developing the drug alongside the University of Oxford and is considered the frontrunner in the global race for a vaccine against coronavirus.
New platforms are providing the life sciences industry with an opportunity to improve the efficiency of clinical trials and reduce costs while remaining compliant and reducing risk. "We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standard of conduct in our trials".
AstraZeneca's statement said that "in large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully".
The spokesperson also said that the company is "working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline". The progress of the company's trial - and those of all COVID-19 vaccines in development - are being closely watched given the pressing need for new ways to curb the global pandemic. AstraZeneca gained the license of the vaccine in April from Oxford University.More news: Frenchman blows up part of house while chasing fly
BBC News reported that the U.K.'s independent medical regulator, the MHRA, could once again allow the trials to resume in just a few days, if the participant's illness is diagnosed and found to be unrelated to the canadidate vaccine. Shares in AstraZeneca's Indian unit, AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd, tumbled more than 12%.
AstraZeneca later stated that it initiated the pause-but has not disclosed specifics on the adverse reaction and when it took place. The trials aim to enroll up to 50,000 participants globally. Moderna Inc was up more than 4% and Pfizer Inc climbed less than 1%.
Opposition health spokesman Chris Bowen encouraged the government to stick with the AstraZeneca deal, but to pursue investment in a range of potential vaccines. "Side effects, stops, and re-starts are part of a GOOD careful process", tweeted Faheem Younus, MD, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland Medical System. The partners are aiming to enroll as many as 50,000 participants for late-stage trials that are underway in the United Kingdom, the U.S., Brazil and South Africa, with others planned for Japan and Russian Federation.More news: De Bruyne named English football's player of the year