"The vaccine development is progressing well. We have had good data so far. We need to show the efficacy in the clinical programme, but so far, so good," Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on a media call (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images).

Britain’s AstraZeneca said on Thursday (July 30) that good data was coming in so far on its vaccine for Covid-19, already in large-scale human trials and widely seen as the front-runner in the race for a shot against the novel coronavirus.

“The vaccine development is progressing well. We have had good data so far. We need to show the efficacy in the clinical programme, but so far, so good,” Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on a media call.

AstraZeneca has already reached deals with countries to make more than  two billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, and says it could be approved by the end of this year.

The company has had a busy few months: it took on development of the Covid-19 shot, received billions in government funding, signed several supply deals, and was even the subject of a mega-merger speculation – all while marching on with its core business.

Newer drugs for diabetes, heart conditions and cancer, including its top selling lung cancer drug Tagrisso, performed well in the quarter and AstraZeneca remains on track for a third consecutive year of growth.

There are no approved vaccines for the illness caused by the new virus, but AstraZeneca’s shot is widely considered the leading candidate after results from early-stage human trials showed it was safe and produced an immune response.

 (Reuters)

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