AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday, it is very common for a trial to be suspended but if allowed to resume, the company will know by the end of the year if their vaccine will protect people from Covid-19.

Clinical trials on one of the most advanced experimental Covid-19 vaccines, AstraZeneca were paused Tuesday after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness, September 9, 2020.
Clinical trials on one of the most advanced experimental Covid-19 vaccines, AstraZeneca were paused Tuesday after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness, September 9, 2020. (Reuters)

AstraZeneca says it should know before the end of the year whether its experimental vaccine will protect people from Covid-19.

CEO Pascal Soriot on Thursday said this is dependent if the British drugmaker is allowed to resume trials which were paused this week.

The World Health Organization flagged AstraZeneca's vaccine as the most promising in combatting coronavirus. 

However, late-stage trials were suspended after a study subject in Britain fell ill.

The patient was reportedly suffering from neurological symptoms associated with a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine trial suspended after volunteer falls ill

Soriot said during a call that it was very common for a trial to be suspended, the difference being that the world was now watching.

The CEO said AstraZeneca did not know the volunteer's diagnosis, adding that it was not clear if the patient had transverse myelitis and more tests were needed.

Soriot said the diagnosis would be submitted to an independent safety committee and this would usually then tell the company whether trials can be resumed.

Source: Reuters