British drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN.L) revealed that it expects results from the late-stage trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine later in 2020 — but it depends on the rate of infection among trial participants.
The group, which is one of the world's leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, also said in its third quarter results statement that it beat third quarter sales estimates and it maintains its 2020 forecasts.
“We made encouraging headway in the quarter, despite the ongoing disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of Astrazeneca.
Watch: Oxford COVID-19 vaccine produces immune response
“Highlights of the sales performance included further success in Oncology and an acceleration in the progress of Farxiga. Our pipeline also excelled, with Farxiga expanding its potential beyond diabetes and heart failure with groundbreaking new data in chronic kidney disease, while regulatory submission acceptance was achieved for anifrolumab in lupus,” he added.
“In the fight against COVID-19, we advanced our vaccine collaboration with the University of Oxford and are launching Phase III trials for our long-acting antibody combination for the prophylaxis and treatment against COVID-19 for people who need an immediate defence or whose weaker immune systems mean they are less likely to benefit from a vaccine.”
The company reported:
Total Revenue, comprising Product Sales and Collaboration Revenue: + 8% in the year to date to $19.2bn (£14.8bn).
Product sales, which exclude payments from collaborations: +7% to $6.52bn for the three months ending 30 September.
Core earnings: 94 cents per share, which was lower than analysts’ expectations of 98 cents.
“We continue to progress in line with our expectations and maintain our full-year guidance, which is underpinned by the strategy of sustainable growth through innovation," said Soriot.
After a day of share price surges on Wednesday (4 November), Astrazeneca shares were nearly flat at the market open on Thursday.