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Results From Oxford University's Human Trial Of Coronavirus Vaccine Could Arrive In June; Where Inovio, Moderna Stand

Results From Oxford University's Human Trial Of Coronavirus Vaccine Could Arrive In June; Where Inovio, Moderna Stand

The University of Oxford, which is partnering with large-cap pharma AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, could lead the pack in advancing its vaccine candidate to the next stage.

The university is one of the eight companies and institutions that have advanced their candidates to human testing, according to the latest World Health Organization statistics.

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Phase 1 Results In Mid-June

About 1,000 people have been vaccinated in the first phase of the vaccine program, which is going as planned and without safety scares, Prof. John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the Oxford University, reportedly told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

Results of the Phase 1/2 trial that is underway could be available by mid-June, Bell said. 

"We also want to make sure that the rest of the world will be ready to make this vaccine at scale so that it gets to populations in developing countries, for example, where the need is very great." 

Oxford University's Coronavirus Vaccine Program

The university first announced in mid-March that it shortlisted a chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector developed at its Jenner Institute as the most suitable vaccine candidate. The candidate was named as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

About a week later, the university said it would enroll healthy volunteers ages 18-55 to test the vaccine candidate and assess its immune response. The initial target for enrollment was 510 volunteers who would receive either the vaccine candidate or a control injection.

The university announced April 24 that it began testing the vaccine candidate in a study with about 1,100 people. On April 30, the university announced an agreement with AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Moderna, Inovio's Programs

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) is targeting a second-quarter start for a planned Phase 2 study that's been approved by the FDA. However, the beginning of the study is contingent on positive results from the NIAID-sponsored Phase 1 study.

This suggests the Phase 1 results could be available later this month or June. Moderna is planning for a Phase 3 study initiation in early summer.

Meanwhile, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO) has suggested summer timeline for the start of a Phase 2/3 study and is now conducting a Phase 1 study.

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