Hahn: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial is still on hold in the U.S.

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AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is still on hold in the U.S., according to remarks made Tuesday by Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn during an Instagram Live with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Shares of AstraZeneca were up 1.1% in premarket trading on Wednesday morning. Hahn said the FDA is working with the drug maker “to figure out if there’s a significant safety issue or not” after the company confirmed last week that it had halted its trial in the U.K. after a participant reported a “potentially unexplained illness.” (The New York Times reported that the illness is transverse myelitis, a rare spinal disorder sometimes associated with vaccines.) “If a serious adverse event occurs, that’s a trigger to stop the trial so that we can pause – it’s really a pause, not a stop – and we can take a look at that,” Hahn said. AstraZeneca’s stock so far this year has gained 10.6%, while the S&P 500 is up 5.2%.
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