AstraZeneca is working as fast as possible to compile data on its COVID to apply for US approval. But the data set is vast, executives said on Friday, as the drugmaker face delays to its submission.
Mene Pangalos is the executive vice-president of BioPharmacuticals R&D at AstraZeneca. He said there’s a lot more data than just a phase III study. Hence, they are working as fast they can to pull it all together.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot said nothing was wrong with the data in a briefing following the first-quarter results. However, the dataset was very big.
However, the company said it planned to apply for US approval in the coming weeks. That is a delay from March when the company said it would submit the data in the coming weeks.
Soriot said the company still expected to hit the output of 200 million doses of the vaccine this month.
Shipments are increasing of the vaccine jabs as the manufacturing is improving, Sariot said in the briefing. He further added that they never overpromised, and we communicated what we thought was possible at the time.
AstraZeneca has said it would not make any profit from the shot during the pandemic. For the first time reporting its financial data of distribution and sales of vaccine, it developed with Oxford University.
The pharmaceutical giant was amid the leaders in the global race to develop a COVID vaccine. It is cheap and transportable shot was hailed as a milestone in the fight against COVID against the crisis. But since has faced a series of setbacks.
The US with a chance of a vaccine diplomacy
The US handling of the COVID pandemic has had loads of lapses, but vaccine production isn’t one. The Biden administration has plenty of jabs, and now it is sharing some of that premium with other countries.
The decision to ship as many possible doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arises at a critical moment. With neighbours, Mexico and Canada, remaining to struggle and India faces a biting surge with new variants of the infections.
It allows the Biden presidency to engage in vaccine diplomacy. Using the shipments to compel other countries to follow suit and induce goodwill might help other US foreign policy priorities.