Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


AstraZeneca to publish full US trial results after rare rebuke over ‘outdated’ data

LONDON/CHICAGO — AstraZeneca will publish up-to-date results from its major US coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine trial within 48 hours after health officials publicly criticized the drugmaker for using “outdated information” to show how well the immunization worked.

The rare public rebuke marks the latest setback for the vaccine once hailed as a milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that has since been dogged by questions over its effectiveness and possible side effects.

AstraZeneca said results it published on Monday in which the vaccine had demonstrated 79% efficacy were based on an interim analysis of data through Feb. 17, and it would now “immediately engage” with the independent panel monitoring the trial to share its full analysis.

The British-based drugmaker on Tuesday said it had reviewed the preliminary assessment of its full, or primary, analysis and found it to be consistent with the interim report.

But the Washington Post reported that the data monitoring panel told federal officials they had been working with the company through March, had seen data that showed the vaccine might be 69% to 74% effective, and had “strongly recommended” AstraZeneca include that information in its public statement.

AstraZeneca shares fell 1.8% in London trading.

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said on Monday that the independent monitoring panel had expressed concern the company may have included outdated data that gave an incomplete view of the shot’s effectiveness.

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci called the whole issue a really unfortunate unforced error.

“This kind of thing does … nothing but really cast some doubt about the vaccines and may contribute to the hesitancy,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“The data really are quite good but when they put it into the press release it wasn’t completely accurate,” he said.

In addition to the 79% efficacy in stopping symptomatic illness in the trial conducted in the United States, Chile, and Peru, the data reported on Monday also showed the shot was 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease and posed no increased risk of blood clots.

Dr. Larry Corey, co-leader of the US Coronavirus Vaccine Prevention Network, which helped design AstraZeneca’s US trial, said the monitoring panel’s rebuke was something he had not seen before. The virologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, praised the panel for speaking up, saying it showed the system of checks and balances worked.

One US-based investigator who was not authorized to speak publicly said AstraZeneca was not wrong to publish an analysis it had described as interim and expressed concern over the public controversy.

“It’s just a little bit like shooting yourself in the foot, because the science is good,” the person said.


The new questions about the shot’s efficacy coincide with its rollout in dozens of countries and clouds the timeline for its potential emergency use authorization in the United States.

“This is indeed an extraordinary act. The negative reports about this vaccine do not stop, although my assessment is that it is well tolerated and safe, but clearly less effective than the two mRNA vaccines,” said Peter Kremsner, from the University Hospital in Tuebingen, Germany.

Vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna that use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to produce an immune response both had efficacy rates of about 95% in their pivotal clinical trials, far above the 50% benchmark set by global regulators.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot has faced questions since late last year when the drugmaker and Oxford University published data from an earlier trial with two different efficacy readings as a result of a dosing error.

Confidence in the vaccine took a further hit this month, when more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, temporarily suspended giving out the shot after reports linked it to a rare blood clotting disorder in a very small number of people.

The European Union’s drug regulator said last week the vaccine was clearly safe, but an opinion poll on Monday showed Europeans remained skeptical about its safety.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is seen as crucial in tackling the spread of COVID-19 across the globe because it is easier and cheaper to transport than rival shots.

It has been granted conditional marketing or emergency use authorization in more than 70 countries.

Many countries are relying heavily on the shot to end the pandemic, and several state leaders have taken it publicly to boost confidence. — Kate Kelland and Julie Steenhuysen/Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



EasyJet plunged £213 million into the red in the Christmas quarter and is still burning through £150 million in cash each month, putting its...


A new range of healthy yet indulgent cookies will launch in Booths this month for just £1 per pack with the UK-born snacks by...


Payments firm has raised $1bn (£730m), giving it a $40bn (£29bn) valuation and crowning it the UK’s most valuable private fintech. The London-headquartered...


Sylvera, a UK-based startup that provides ratings for carbon offsets, has raised $32.6m (£24.1m) in a Series A funding round to accelerate and expand...


UK-based fintech Everything has raised €2m (£1.67m) to reinvent a decades-old financial product: premium bonds. The raise was led by a group of angel...


Boxt, a UK smart home heating startup that provides an “Uber-style” service for fitting boilers, electric vehicle chargers and air conditioning, has raised £20m...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...


As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.