05 November 2020

AstraZeneca to present coronavirus vaccine data in fourth quarter

05 November 2020

Drugs giant AstraZeneca has confirmed it expects to present the data from its Covid-19 vaccine, being developed with the University of Oxford, by the end of the year.

The firm said the first data from its phase two and three trials in the UK will be published in the fourth quarter.

It comes as the business retained guidance for its financial year, and said profit is set to double.

Before tax, AstraZeneca’s profit reached 853 million US dollars (£654 million) in the third quarter, up from 409 million dollars (£314 million) a year earlier.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “We made encouraging headway in the quarter, despite the ongoing disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vaccine trials (PA Media)

“In the fight against Covid-19, we advanced our vaccine collaboration with the University of Oxford and are launching phase three trials for our long-acting antibody combination for the prophylaxis and treatment against Covid-19 for people who need an immediate defence or whose weaker immune systems mean they are less likely to benefit from a vaccine.”

Astra presented revenue of 6.6 billion US dollars (£5.1 billion), a 3% rise, despite a nearly four-fifths fall in its collaboration revenue.

The collaboration revenue drop was largely due to a strong third quarter last year for its cancer drug Lynparza, meaning Astra was measured against a high yardstick.

Mr Soriot also hailed the company’s work with diabetes medicine dapagliflozin, sold under the Farxiga brand.

He said: “Highlights of the sales performance included further success in oncology and an acceleration in the progress of Farxiga.

“Our pipeline also excelled, with Farxiga expanding its potential beyond diabetes and heart failure with ground-breaking new data in chronic kidney disease, while regulatory submission acceptance was achieved for anifrolumab in lupus.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox