EU regulator backs wider use of AstraZeneca COVID drug

EU regulator backs wider use of AstraZeneca COVID drug

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Europe's medicines regulator has backed using AstraZeneca's preventative COVID-19 drug as a treatment for the disease and also endorsed its therapy against a major cause of pneumonia. The regulator's recommendations are usually followed by the European Commission when it takes a final decision on drug approvals. AstraZeneca said on Friday the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had backed Evusheld as a treatment for adults and adolescents with COVID who do not need supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of their disease worsening. The antibody cocktail was previously only approved as a preventative treatment for people…
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AstraZeneca says EU regulator approves COVID shot as booster

AstraZeneca says EU regulator approves COVID shot as booster

May 23 (Reuters) - Drugmaker AstraZeneca  said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, has been approved in the European Union by the bloc's drugs regulator as a third-dose booster in adults following a committee endorsement last week. The vaccine can now be used as a booster following the two-dose Vaxzevria schedule or by those who have been previously vaccinated by an mRNA vaccine, such as the ones made by Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech  or Moderna MRNA.O. "Ensuring a longer duration of immune protection is essential to the long-term management of COVID-19 globally, and boosters can address the waning of protection over time that has been…
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European drugs regulator recommends AstraZeneca’s COVID drug

European drugs regulator recommends AstraZeneca’s COVID drug

March 24 (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency on Thursday authorised the use of AstraZeneca Plc's antibody drug for preventing COVID-19 infections in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age.  The treatment is meant for adults whose immune system is too weak to respond to vaccines and offers a new tool to ease the pandemic burden on healthcare systems. Infections in Europe are on a sharp rise again this month, with the adult vaccination rate stagnating at a little over 83%.  While vaccines rely on an intact immune system to develop targeted antibodies and infection-fighting cells, Evusheld contains lab-made antibodies designed to…
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AstraZeneca COVID drug neutralizes Omicron sub-variants in study

AstraZeneca COVID drug neutralizes Omicron sub-variants in study

March 21 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca said its antibody-based cocktail to prevent and treat COVID-19 was shown to retain neutralising activity against Omicron coronavirus variants, including the highly contagious BA.2 sub-variant, in an independent lab study. Data from the study by the Washington University showed the therapy reduced the amount of virus detected in samples of all tested Omicron subvariants in mice lungs, the London-listed drugmaker said on Monday. The study has yet to be peer reviewed. The therapy, Evusheld, was tested against the BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 subvariants of Omicron and it was also shown to limit inflammation in the lungs. "The findings further support Evusheld as…
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AstraZeneca says COVID vaccine demand high in Latam, Middle East, Asia

AstraZeneca says COVID vaccine demand high in Latam, Middle East, Asia

FRANKFURT, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Astrazeneca said global interest in government purchase agreements for its COVID-19 vaccine was driven by strong demand in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, even as aggregate global demand this year will fall. Speaking on a media call after the release of the company's fourth-quarter results, CEO Pascal Soriot said the shot, branded Vaxzevria, is receiving a "fantastic welcome" in those regions. The drugmaker earlier flagged a likely fall in COVID-19-related product sales this year, as an expected decline in vaccine revenue is to be partially offset by growth in sales of its antibody…
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Politicians who criticised AstraZeneca vaccine ‘probably killed hundreds of thousands’, says Oxford scientist

Politicians who criticised AstraZeneca vaccine ‘probably killed hundreds of thousands’, says Oxford scientist

Scientists and politicians who expressed critical views of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine “probably killed hundreds of thousands of people”, an Oxford professor has said. Professor Sir John Bell said critical comments from leaders, including French president Emmanuel Macron, had “damaged the reputation of the jab” around the world, resulting in less people accessing the life-saving vaccine. Speaking to the BBC Two programme AstraZeneca: A Vaccine for the World?, which will be broadcast on Tuesday at 9pm, Prof Bell said: “I think bad behaviour from scientists and politicians has probably killed hundreds of thousands of people – and that they cannot…
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EMA lists rare spinal condition as side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot

EMA lists rare spinal condition as side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot

Jan 14 (Reuters) - A safety panel of the European drug regulator on Friday recommended adding a rare spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side effect of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has faced several setbacks, including production delays, probes by regulators following rare cases of severe side effects such as blood clots with low platelets, which led to several countries restricting or stopping its use. The European Medicines Agency's safety committee also reiterated its recommendation of a similar warning to be included for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine. The committee, after reviewing data, concluded that a causal relationship…
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UPDATED: AstraZeneca says higher antibody response against Omicron with booster dose

UPDATED: AstraZeneca says higher antibody response against Omicron with booster dose

Jan 13 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca said on Thursday preliminary data from a trial it conducted on its COVID-19 shot, Vaxzevria, showed it generated a higher antibody response against the Omicron variant and others, including Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma, when given as a third booster dose. The increased response was seen in people who were previously vaccinated with either Vaxzevria or an mRNA vaccine, the drugmaker said, adding that it would submit this data to regulators worldwide given the urgent need for boosters. AstraZeneca has developed the vaccine with researchers from the University of Oxford, and lab studies last month…
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FACTBOX-Front runners in development of antibody drugs against COVID-19

FACTBOX-Front runners in development of antibody drugs against COVID-19

AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Regeneron and GlaxoSmithKline are among the biggest pharmaceutical companies to have developed COVID-19 treatments using a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies, but the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant has put the therapies' effectiveness into question. Laboratory-made monoclonal antibodies mimic natural antibodies in fighting off infections. Unlike vaccines, they do not rely on the body to create an immune response, and can therefore help individuals with weak or compromised immune systems. Below is an outline of where the major drugmakers are in the development and regulatory process: ASTRAZENECA * AstraZeneca's antibody cocktail, Evusheld, is delivered…
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UPDATED: AstraZeneca shot third dose works against Omicron in study

UPDATED: AstraZeneca shot third dose works against Omicron in study

Dec 23 (Reuters) - A three-dose course of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the rapidly-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant, the pharmaceutical company said on Thursday, citing data from an Oxford University lab study. Findings from the study, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, match those from rivals Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna which have also found a third dose of their shots works against Omicron. The study on AstraZeneca's vaccine, Vaxzevria, showed that after a three-dose course of the vaccine, neutralising levels against Omicron were broadly similar to those against the virus's Delta variant after two doses. The London-listed…
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Nigeria destroys 1 million donated AstraZeneca vaccines with short shelf life

Nigeria destroys 1 million donated AstraZeneca vaccines with short shelf life

Nigeria destroyed more than a million doses of expired AstraZeneca  vaccines in a bid to assure a wary public that they have been taken out of circulation. The destruction came more than a week after health authorities said some COVID-19 doses donated by rich Western nations had a shelf life that left only weeks to administer the shots. Reuters reported on Dec. 7 that around one million COVID-19 vaccines were estimated to have expired in Nigeria in November without being used. At a dump site in Abuja, a bulldozer crushed AstraZeneca shots that were packed in cardboard boxes and plastic…
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Two-dose vaccines induce lower antibodies against Omicron, study finds

Two-dose vaccines induce lower antibodies against Omicron, study finds

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimens do not induce enough neutralising antibodies against the Omicron coronavirus variant, British scientists found, indicating that increased infections in those previously infected or vaccinated may be likely. Researchers from the University of Oxford published results on Monday from a study yet to be peer-reviewed, where they analysed blood samples from participants who were given doses from AstraZeneca-Oxford or Pfizer-BioNTech in a large study looking into mixing of vaccines. The results come a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that two shots will not be enough to contain Omicron, following findings…
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Scientists find trigger of rare blood clots with AstraZeneca vaccine

Scientists find trigger of rare blood clots with AstraZeneca vaccine

Scientists believe they have found "the trigger" that leads to extremely rare blood clots after the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. The team - in Cardiff and the US - have shown in exquisite detail how a protein in the blood is attracted to a key component of the vaccine. They think this kicks off a chain reaction, involving the immune system, that can culminate in dangerous clots. The vaccine is thought to have saved about a million lives from Covid. However, concerns about rare blood clots shaped how the vaccine has been used around the world including an alternative being offered…
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AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug offers 83% protection over six months

AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug offers 83% protection over six months

Nov 18 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca on Thursday cemented its lead in bringing a preventative COVID-19 shot for the non-infected to market for people who do not respond well to vaccines, saying its antibody drug cocktail offered 83% protection over six months. The injected therapy, called AZD7442 or Evusheld, had previously been shown to confer 77% protection against symptomatic illness after three months, in an earlier readout of the late-stage PROVENT trial in August. The Anglo-Swedish company also said a separate study in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 showed a higher dose of AZD7442 cut the risk of symptoms worsening by 88%…
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AstraZeneca vaccine turns profitable, drugmaker banking on new orders

AstraZeneca vaccine turns profitable, drugmaker banking on new orders

Nov 12 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is counting on new orders to move its COVID-19 vaccine to "modest profitability" after the shot made a small contribution to earnings in the third quarter and achieved $1.05 billion in sales for the three-month period on Friday. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, which vowed not to make a profit from the vaccine during the pandemic, this week unveiled plans to set up a separate unit to focus on its coronavirus efforts. Its vaccine will remain not-for-profit for low-income nations as it moves to earning modest profits from new orders from richer countries. Shares of the FTSE…
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Vaccine combinations with different technologies may be best

Vaccine combinations with different technologies may be best

Healthcare workers in France who got a first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and then the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for their second shot showed stronger immune responses than those who had received two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, in a recent study. Combining different technologies is known to boost immune responses to other viruses, and the current study suggests it may be true for the coronavirus as well. Both vaccines in the study deliver instructions that teach cells in the body to make a piece of protein that resembles the spike on the coronavirus and that triggers an immune response. But…
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UK adds nerve disorder as rare side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

UK adds nerve disorder as rare side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Oct 21 (Reuters) - The UK drug regulator added an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, updates on the agency's website showed on Thursday. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) decision comes after the European medicines agency added GBS as a possible side-effect last month. Photo - EPA-EFE/TOMS KALNINS
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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows 74% efficacy in large U.S. trial

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows 74% efficacy in large U.S. trial

AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 74% efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease, a figure that increased to 83.5% in people aged 65 and older, according to long-awaited results of the company's U.S. clinical trial published. Overall efficacy of 74% was lower than the interim 79% figure reported by the British drugmaker in March, a result AstraZeneca revised days later to 76% after a rare public rebuke from health officials that the figure was based on "outdated information." The data looked at more than 26,000 volunteers in the United States, Chile and Peru, who received two doses of the vaccine spaced about…
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Small study shows antibody growth from AstraZeneca, Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine mix

Small study shows antibody growth from AstraZeneca, Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine mix

A small-scale clinical study of the combined use of the AstraZeneca and Sputnik Light vaccines against COVID-19 has shown strong antibody growth in a majority of the study's participants, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said on Monday. The data was collected from 20 people who took part in a 100-person study in Azerbaijan that began in February. They first received the AstraZeneca shot followed by the one-dose Russian-made Sputnik Light shot 29 days later, RDIF said. "According to the results of the interim analysis, a fourfold or higher increase in neutralising antibodies to the spike protein (S-protein) of the SARS-CoV-2…
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UPDATED: EU fails to confirm if women, young adults at higher clot risk from AstraZeneca shot

UPDATED: EU fails to confirm if women, young adults at higher clot risk from AstraZeneca shot

The European Union's drugs regulator could not confirm from available data if women and young adults were at a higher risk of rare blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot. Limitations in the way the data was collected meant that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) could not identify any specific risk factor that made the condition, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), more likely, it said on Friday. The European Commission had requested scientific opinion from the EMA after reports of TTS associated with the vaccine, Vaxzevria, earlier this year, which led to many EU states suspending…
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EU lists rare nerve disorder as possible side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

EU lists rare nerve disorder as possible side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Europe's medicines regulator has added an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome, as a possible side-effect of AstraZeneca's  COVID-19 vaccine, regular safety updates from the watchdog showed. The European Medicines Agency said a causal relationship between GBS and the AstraZeneca shot, known as Vaxzevria, was a "at least a reasonable possibility" after 833 cases of GBS were reported out of 592 million doses of the vaccine given worldwide by July 31. The EMA categorised the side-effect as "very rare", the lowest frequency of side-effect category it has, and has emphasised that the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks. The…
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UPDATED: AstraZeneca, EU reach settlement on delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses

UPDATED: AstraZeneca, EU reach settlement on delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses

The European Commission and AstraZeneca said on Friday they had reached a settlement on delivering remaining COVID-19 vaccine doses by the British drugmaker and also ended pending litigation in Brussels. The settlement clears a major overhang for AstraZeneca, whose cheap and easily transportable vaccine has faced several setbacks, including the lawsuit and worries about possible side-effects. It also allows the European Union to speed up inoculations amid shortages. Under the settlement, AstraZeneca has committed to deliver 60 million doses of its vaccine, Vaxzevria, by the end of the third quarter this year, 75 million by the end of the fourth…
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Kosovo to destroy 133,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

Kosovo to destroy 133,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

The Kosovo government decided to destroy 133,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines over their expired date of use as the country faces a sharp rise in the coronavirus death rate. The vaccines that will be destroyed were part of a donation from Norway with August 31 seen as an expiration date. The decision to destroy vaccines triggered criticism, with some people calling for the resignation of the health minister on the health ministry's Facebook page. Unwillingness to take vaccines, technical difficulties when attempting to make an appointment online and propaganda about harm from the vaccines had put Kosovo among the countries with…
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Small-scale study on mixing Sputnik V, AstraZeneca shows positive result – RDIF

Small-scale study on mixing Sputnik V, AstraZeneca shows positive result – RDIF

Russian sovereign fund RDIF said on Friday it has achieved positive results from a small-scale study into the combined use of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine. "Preliminary data from the first 20 participants shows antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein (S-protein) elicited in 100% of cases," RDIF said in a statement, citing a clinical trial carried out together with AstraZeneca in Azerbaijan.
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AstraZeneca’s antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 in study

AstraZeneca’s antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 in study

AstraZeneca said on Friday its antibody therapy met the main goal of preventing COVID-19 disease in a late-stage study, putting the British drugmaker on track to potentially offer an alternative to vaccines for people with weakened immune systems. The company said the cocktail of two types of antibodies, initially discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, reduced by 77% the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the coronavirus. More than 75% of the participants had chronic conditions, including some linked to a diminished immune response to vaccination, it said. The results mark a change of fortune…
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AstraZeneca’s CEO is the highest paid executive in the FTSE 100

AstraZeneca’s CEO is the highest paid executive in the FTSE 100

AstraZeneca's CEO was the highest paid executive in the FTSE 100 in 2020, earning £15.45 million for his part in delivering a coronavirus vaccine that has been administered tens of millions of times already this year. New analysis by the High Pay Centre think tank shows that the median FTSE 100 CEO was paid £2.69m in 2020, 86 times the median full-time worker in the UK The pharmaceutical company's boss Pascal Soriot has presided over a remarkable turnaround since joining AstraZeneca in 2012. The Frenchman, who is trained as a veterinarian, helped revive the company's reputation for research and development, while rebuffing a $118bn…
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Poland to send 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Ukraine

Poland to send 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Ukraine

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will send 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine on Tuesday, the minister in charge of the Polish vaccination drive told state news agency PAP.  One of Europe's poorest countries, Ukraine has lagged behind other nations on the continent in its vaccination programme against COVID-19, and made public appeals for help. Polish media say the country has a surplus of vaccines after having fully inoculating about 57% of the adult population, according to figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Vaccine Tracker. Demand for the shot has slackened considerably from record…
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Age restrictions on AstraZeneca shot have ended reports of rare clots -UK scientists

Age restrictions on AstraZeneca shot have ended reports of rare clots -UK scientists

No new cases of a rare and severe blood clots following vaccination with AstraZeneca's  COVID shot have been reported in Britain in recent weeks after a decision to restrict its use in under-40s, British scientists said. Vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT) is a combination of blot clots and low platelet levels which has been labelled as a rare side effect of the viral vector COVID vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. A higher occurrence of the side-effect in younger people has led to many countries to put age restrictions on AstraZeneca's shot. Around 85% of those who…
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Mixing Russia’s Sputnik V, AstraZeneca shots proves safe in small trial -RDIF

Mixing Russia’s Sputnik V, AstraZeneca shots proves safe in small trial -RDIF

Trials mixing a first dose of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine with AstraZeneca’s shot revealed no serious side effects and no subsequent cases of coronavirus among volunteers, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Friday. The trial involved 50 people and began in Azerbaijan in February, RDIF, which is responsible for marketing Sputnik V vaccine abroad, said in the statement. Full results of the trial, including data on the immune response produced by the combination vaccine, would be published next month, RDIF said. Both the Sputnik V and the AstraZeneca shot are viral vector vaccines that are based on…
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AstraZeneca hopes to settle EU legal dispute in coming weeks

AstraZeneca hopes to settle EU legal dispute in coming weeks

AstraZeneca hopes to settle a legal dispute with the European Union over COVID-19 vaccine deliveries in the coming weeks, a senior executive said on Thursday, potentially ending a row that has dogged the drugmaker and Brussels this year. The company is in talks with the EU, Ruud Dobber, executive vice president of the BioPharmaceuticals business, said in a briefing. "We're hopeful in the next few weeks we will have a settlement," he said, without giving further details. An EU Commission spokesman told a news conference on Thursday that he had no comment on AstraZeneca's hopes for a settlement in the…
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New Zealand gives provisional nod to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

New Zealand gives provisional nod to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

New Zealand's health regulator Medsafe has granted provisional approval for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, acting minister for COVID-19 response, Dr Ayesha Verrall, said on Thursday. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an advance purchase agreement with the company last year. The country has only been using the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine so far. Photo: A vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine . EPA-EFE/TOMS KALNINS
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UPDATED: Rare blood clot cases not higher after AstraZeneca second dose

UPDATED: Rare blood clot cases not higher after AstraZeneca second dose

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine carries a small extra risk of rare blood clots with low platelets after the first dose and no extra risk after the second, a study led and funded by the drugmaker showed on Wednesday, after worries over side-effects. The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that the estimated rate of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after the first dose was 8.1 per million in those inoculated, AstraZeneca said. After the second dose of the vaccine, branded Vaxzevria and invented by Oxford University, the rate was 2.3 per million, comparable to that seen in unvaccinated people,…
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EU regulator backs AstraZeneca drug for rare blood disorder in children

EU regulator backs AstraZeneca drug for rare blood disorder in children

AstraZeneca said on Monday the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approving a medicine from its U.S.-based Alexion unit for treating a rare, deadly blood disorder in children and adolescents aged up to 18 years. The drugmaker recently completed its $39-billion acquisition of Alexion, which it had agreed to buy as a bet on rare-disease immunology and to boost its business that includes a fast-growing cancer medicines unit and a major COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca said the drug Ultomiris had been given a positive opinion for paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) by the human medicines committee of the EMA, and it follows a…
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Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer shot boosts COVID antibody level – study

Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer shot boosts COVID antibody level – study

A mixed vaccination of first AstraZeneca and then a Pfizer COVID-19 shot boosted neutralizing antibody levels by six times compared with two AstraZeneca doses, a study from South Korea showed. The study involved 499 medical workers - 100 receiving mixed doses, 200 taking two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and the remainder getting two AstraZeneca shots. All showed neutralizing antibodies, which prevent the virus from entering cells and replicating, and the result of the mixed schedule of vaccines showed similar amounts of neutralizing antibodies found from the group that received two Pfizer shots. A British study last month showed similar…
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Two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots effective against Delta variant, study finds

Two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots effective against Delta variant, study finds

Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant, a study published on Wednesday showed. Officials say vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, now the dominant variant worldwide, though the study reiterated that one shot of the vaccines is not enough for high protection. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms headline findings given by Public Health England in May about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca, based on real-world data.…
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Thailand to mix Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines to increase protection

Thailand to mix Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines to increase protection

Thailand's immunisation strategy against the coronavirus will see a shot of AstraZeneca's viral vector vaccine administered after one dose of Sinovac's vaccine, its health minister said on Monday, The plan, if implemented, would be the first publicly announced mix and match of a Chinese vaccine and a Western-developed shot. The move aims to increase protection against highly transmissible variants, Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters. "This is to improve protection against the Delta variant and build high level of immunity against the disease," Health Minister Anutin said, referring to the variant first detected in Indonesia. Thailand and neighbours like Indonesia have reported…
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UPDATED: Public Health England says AstraZeneca COVID shot gives 94% protection against death in over 65s

UPDATED: Public Health England says AstraZeneca COVID shot gives 94% protection against death in over 65s

Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine gives an estimated 94% protection against death from the disease in people over 65, Public Health England said on Thursday in a weekly surveillance report of real-world data. PHE said the majority of the data was derived from a period when the Alpha variant, first detected in England, was still dominant and did not provide a specific estimate of protection from death that the vaccine offered against the now more widespread Delta variant, first detected in India. PHE also said that for the under 40s, early estimates suggested a single dose of Pfizer's…
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Health Canada recommends people with rare blood condition not get AstraZeneca vaccine

Health Canada recommends people with rare blood condition not get AstraZeneca vaccine

Health Canada said it has recommended that people with a history of capillary leak syndrome not be inoculated with drugmaker AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. "Health Canada is updating the product monograph - or label - for the AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD COVID-19/ vaccines to add capillary leak syndrome as a potential side effect, with a warning for patients with a history of capillary leak syndrome to not get the AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine", it said in a statement. Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) is a very rare, serious condition that causes fluid leakage from small blood vessels (capillaries), resulting in limb swelling,…
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Immune response of AstraZeneca shot boosted by mixing dose schedule with Pfizer – study

Immune response of AstraZeneca shot boosted by mixing dose schedule with Pfizer – study

LONDON (Reuters) - A mixed schedule of vaccines where a shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is given four weeks after a AstraZeneca shot will produce better immune responses than giving another dose of the AstraZeneca shot, an Oxford study said on Monday. The study, called Com-COV, compared mixed two-dose schedules of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, and found that in any combination, they produced high concentrations of antibodies against the coronavirus spike protein. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden) Reuters
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Denmark continues exclusion of J&J, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

Denmark continues exclusion of J&J, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

Danish health authorities said on Friday that COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson would remain excluded from Denmark's vaccine roll-out following a review of new safety data. "The balance between possible benefit and possible harmful effects is still not favourable, even when we include assumptions in our analyses that benefit the vaccine," the Danish Health Authority said in a statement. Denmark was the first country to suspend and altogether ditch Johnson & Johnson's and AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines over safety concerns due to their potential link to a rare but serious form of blood clot. Photo: The AstraZeneca vaccines…
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UPDATED: AstraZeneca says EU loses legal bid for more vaccine supplies by end-June

UPDATED: AstraZeneca says EU loses legal bid for more vaccine supplies by end-June

AstraZeneca said on Friday the European Union had lost a legal case against the pharmaceutical firm over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, with a court in Brussels rejecting an EU request for more deliveries by the end of June. But European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday's ruling supported the EU's view that AstraZeneca -- against which the bloc has recently launched a second lawsuit -- had failed to meet its commitments. The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant committed in a contract to do its best to deliver 300 million doses to the 27-nation bloc by the end of June,…
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EU drug regulator EMA records 415 cases of possible rare blood clotting

EU drug regulator EMA records 415 cases of possible rare blood clotting

The EU drug regulator said on Thursday it has received reports of 415 possible cases of rare blood clotting with a low platelet count in the European Economic Area, out of more than 50 million people who have received AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. There have been 10 possible cases among just under 6 million people who received J&J's shot in the EEA, and 405 cases among 45 million who received AstraZeneca's shot, Georgy Genov, head of pharmacovigilance at the European Medicines Agency said in a briefing. The condition is known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Reuters
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Australia recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine only for people over 60

Australia recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine only for people over 60

Australia will recommend AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines only for people aged 60 years and over, while Pfizer shots will be offered to others, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday. Australia said in early April they would recommend people under 50 should get Pfizer's vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca due Australia will recommend only people over 60 receive AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, the country's Minister for Health Greg Hunt said on Thursday, following a spate of blood clots in those who have received the inoculation. Australia has administered 3.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it has been linked to 60…
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AstraZeneca shots have good risk-benefit profile for over 60s, says EMA official

AstraZeneca shots have good risk-benefit profile for over 60s, says EMA official

The head of the EU drug regulator's COVID-19 task force said on Sunday that AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine had a favourable risk-benefit profile for all age groups and particularly for those aged over 60. Italian newspaper La Stampa earlier quoted European Medicines Agency (EMA) task force chief Marco Cavaleri as saying countries should avoid giving the vaccine to people aged over 60 in addition to younger age groups, amid fears over very rare blood clotting and as alternative vaccines become available. "Unfortunately my words have not been interpreted correctly in a recent interview with La Stampa," Cavaleri said in a statement…
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AstraZeneca shots should be halted for over-60s too – EMA official

AstraZeneca shots should be halted for over-60s too – EMA official

Countries should also avoid giving the Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine to people over 60, the head of the EU drug regulator's COVID-19 task force was quoted on Sunday as saying, amid fears over rare blood clotting and as more vaccines become available. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) considers the Astrazeneca shot safe for all age groups. However several European Union member states have stopped administering it to people below a certain age, usually ranging from 50 to 65, restricting its use to the older population, due to the rare cases of blood clotting, mainly among young people. "In a pandemic context,…
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Italy halts AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s

Italy halts AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s

The Italian government said on Friday it was restricting the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60, after a teenager who had received the shot died from a rare form of blood clotting. Camilla Canepa died on Thursday aged 18 after being given the vaccine on May 25, triggering a media and political outcry over the Anglo-Swedish company's shot being used for adults of all ages despite previously-raised medical concerns. "AstraZeneca will only be used for people over 60," the country's special COVID commissioner Francesco Figliuolo told reporters. People under the age of 60 who have received…
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Concerns after Italian 18-year-old dies following AstraZeneca vaccination

Concerns after Italian 18-year-old dies following AstraZeneca vaccination

Italian health authorities are under pressure following the death of 18-year-old Camila Canepa after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine two weeks earlier . Canepa, from Sestri Levante, died of very serious thrombosis and consequently cerebral haemorrhage after receiving the vaccine on the first open day in Liguria, aimed at those over the age of 18 and open to those who were willing to take the AstraZeneca vaccine. The case of Camila Canepa has once again raised doubts in the scientific and medical community as to whether this type of vaccine should be given to young people and in particular young women.…
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Russia’s RDIF says no bad side-effects found in trials on combined AstraZeneca/Sputnik V vaccine

Russia’s RDIF says no bad side-effects found in trials on combined AstraZeneca/Sputnik V vaccine

No negative side-effects were detected during trials of a combined COVID-19 vaccine using AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s shots and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, the Interfax news agency reported. Russia may start trials on a COVID-19 vaccine combining its Sputnik V vaccine and various Chinese shots in Arab countries, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund as saying on Friday. RDIF is marketing Russia's vaccine globally. Its chief executive Kirill Dmitriev said the fund had received many requests from other vaccine manufacturers, including ones in China, for joint trials. "These are the big manufacturers and it may be…
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Canada panel says COVID-19 shots can be mixed

Canada panel says COVID-19 shots can be mixed

An official Canadian panel said people who received a first shot of AstraZeneca PLC's  COVID-19 vaccine can choose to receive a different shot for their second dose, dealing another potential blow to the pharmaceutical giant. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said one reason for the recommendation by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) was concern about rare and potentially fatal blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. "If it weren't for that, then probably one would progress with giving the same (vaccine) as a second dose," she said. NACI said Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and…
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Britain seeks extra AstraZeneca shots to combat ‘beta’ COVID-19 variant

Britain seeks extra AstraZeneca shots to combat ‘beta’ COVID-19 variant

Britain is in talks with Oxford and AstraZeneca for additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine that has been modified to better target the "beta" coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, and it will fund trials of the shots. Britain has previously secured 100 million doses of the vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford and licenced to AstraZeneca, and the health ministry said the extra doses under discussion would be tailored to target the B.1.351 variant. South Africa put use of AstraZeneca's shot on hold in February after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by…
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South Korea reports first case of blood clots linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot

South Korea reports first case of blood clots linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot

outh Korea on Monday reported its first case of rare blood clotting linked to AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine. The patient is a man in his 30s who got the shot on April 27 because of his job at a medical facility, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a briefing. He felt a headache on May 9 and sought medical treatment before being hospitalized on May 12 as it continued and he suffered muscle cramps, Jeong said. "His condition has improved since then and we understand there is no big problem though he still needs monitoring," she…
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316 blood-clot cases registered in Europe after AstraZeneca shot, death rate lower – EMA

316 blood-clot cases registered in Europe after AstraZeneca shot, death rate lower – EMA

A total of 316 cases of rare blood clots with low platelets have been recorded in adults who received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in the European Economic Area, an executive of the region's drug regulator said. The figure as of Thursday includes 174 new reports since the European Medicines Agency (EMA) provided an update in April, Georgy Genov, the chief of the watchdog's safety monitoring operations, said during a briefing on Friday. The EMA has been looking into cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) since March and has found a possible link to the vaccine developed with Oxford University, Vaxzevria,…
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Indonesia resumes use of temporarily suspended batch of AstraZeneca vaccines

Indonesia resumes use of temporarily suspended batch of AstraZeneca vaccines

Indonesia has resumed usage of a temporarily suspended batch of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, the country's food and drug agency (BPOM) said Thursday. The agency suspended use of one batch of the vaccine to conduct an investigation after a young man died after being inoculated earlier this month. “According to test results, it can be concluded that there was no relation between the quality of COVID-19 vaccine batch number CTMAV547 with the post immunization event reported,” said BPOM.
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EU seeks large AstraZeneca fine for alleged contract breach

EU seeks large AstraZeneca fine for alleged contract breach

BRUSSELS, May 26 (Reuters) - A lawyer for the European Union accused AstraZeneca on Wednesday of failing to respect its contract with the 27-nation bloc for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and asked a Belgian court to impose a large fine on the company. The EU took the Anglo-Swedish firm to court in April after the drugmaker said it would aim to deliver only 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of June, instead of the 300 million foreseen in the supply contract. Brussels wants the company to deliver at least 120 million vaccines by the end of…
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AstraZeneca’s vaccine slightly less effective against variant found in India, CEO tells FT

AstraZeneca’s vaccine slightly less effective against variant found in India, CEO tells FT

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine was only slightly less effective against the variant first found in India than the strain identified in Kent, the company's Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said in an interview with Financial Times on Friday. He added the company is in talks with governments, including the United Kingdom, about new contracts for booster doses. In his first interview following a string of setbacks, including the emergence of rare fatal side-effects, Pascal Soriot defended the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and offered new evidence that it could play an important role in the ongoing battle against the disease. Soriot told the Financial…
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EMA advices against second AstraZeneca shot in those with blood clots

EMA advices against second AstraZeneca shot in those with blood clots

The European medicines regulator said on Friday a COVID-19 antibody treatment developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology can be used to treat patients who are at risk of severe disease and do not need supplemental oxygen. The rolling review of the drug in ongoing, the European Medicines Agency said. Europe's drug regulator also said on Friday AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine must not be given to anyone who has had blood clots with low blood platelets after receiving the shot, and that patients must be monitored for signs within three weeks of vaccination. The recommendations were provided by the European Medicines Agency…
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