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Another Phase III Starts

AstraZeneca has begun enrolling participants into a late-stage study of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Reuters reports.

In July, researchers from AstraZeneca and Oxford University reported early results in the Lancet from their phase 1/2 trial of their investigational vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which targets the viral spike protein. They found that one dose of their prospective vaccine led to an increase in spike-specific antibodies and to neutralizing antibodies after a booster dose.

The new phase III trial, which is being run under the US Operation Warp Speed program, will include 30,000 participants who are to receive two doses of the candidate vaccine, also now known as AZD1222, four weeks apart, or a placebo. According to a press release from AstraZeneca, researchers will be assessing the candidate vaccine's safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity within adults from diverse groups and who are either healthy or have stable medical conditions.

Reuters notes the candidate vaccine is already under late-stage testing in Brazil, the UK, and South Africa and that additional testing is planned in Japan and Russia.

Moderna launched phase III testing of its candidate mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in late July.