According to a report, the UK drug regulator is speeding up the review of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has begun a “rolling review” of Pfizer’s vaccines in recent weeks, and has also begun accelerated reviews of vaccines being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
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We are at the forefront of the global race to find the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine that can cause COVID-19, which has become a pandemic during this year. After the report was released, the stocks of both companies rose.
Rolling reviews, such as those clearly directed at Pfizer vaccines, are a tool that the European Medical Agency (EMA) has used in fast-tracking drug evaluations in public health emergencies.
This process involves reviewing data on the effectiveness, safety and quality of drug candidates, which can be obtained from ongoing research. Normally, all completed data will be submitted at the beginning of the evaluation process.
The report that the UK regulator has accelerated the review of the two vaccine candidates comes as the UK is seeking to safely approve the vaccine as soon as possible.
EU legislation requires that biotech drugs (such as potential COVID-19 vaccines) must be licensed by EMA, but after the Brexit transition process ends in January 2021, the United Kingdom will have new powers to license all drugs in the country.
Earlier this month, the government stated that the vaccine could be deployed before EMA’s approval. “If there are convincing cases, it is due to public health considerations.
The government said: “Given the nature of the threats we face, the joint committee responsible for vaccine consultation may take very unusual steps to recommend that the UK government use tested and unlicensed vaccines.”
MarketWatch asked Pfizer and AstraZeneca for comments.