Shares in FTSE-quoted pharmaceutical brand AstraZeneca dropped by nearly 2% on Monday 23 November following the announcement that its coronavirus vaccine may just be 70% effective.
This was combined with another news story stating that the vaccine may struggle to gain approval in the US.
The vaccine has been developed in conjunction with Oxford University and success rates are well below those of the vaccines developed by competitor US brands, Moderna and Pfizer.
The drop in stock value saw AstraZeneca performing worse than any other European healthcare shares in the day’s early trading.
About AstraZeneca Shares
AstraZeneca has been working with Oxford University to prepare a UK vaccine for Covid-19.
The brand’s shares have performed well throughout 2020, and have been one of the highest performers on the FTSE 100 lists.
The stock started the day in optimistic mode and was soon trading at 8,431 pence, however, these gains were short-lived.
The Coronavirus Vaccine From AstraZeneca
In a statement to the press, AstraZeneca said clinical trials in both the UK and Brazil had shown their vaccine prevented the development of symptoms in around 70% of cases.
The report on the trials showed 131 cases of Covid-19 from a total of 24,000 study participants.
The University of Oxford said their vaccine news was a “breakthrough“. The brand says it plans to produce up to 3bn vaccine doses through 2021, although this is still pending approval from regulatory authorities.
The vaccine can be transported, stored and handled under normal refrigeration, so does not have the issues associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
Indeed, it’s recognised this vaccine can be stored under refrigeration for a minimum of six months.
These interim vaccine results may not be a true reflection of its efficacy, as Astra Zeneca estimate it could be up to 90% successful or down to a low of 62%, this will be evidenced from further trials which will be announced at a later date.
There were no safety events associated with the vaccine and AstraZeneca intend to submit it for early regulatory approval in the near future.
The brand has promised that it will “ensure broad and equitable access to the vaccine at no profit for the duration of the pandemic“, making it easier for third world countries to access.
The results issued by both Pfizer and Moderna come in at an efficacy of 95%, with the Moderna vaccine having the ability for refrigerated storage for up to a month.
The Pfizer vaccine requires greater chilling and is estimated to last just five days in refrigerated storage.