The UK’s drugs regulator has reportedly begun an accelerated review of coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by Astrazeneca and Pfizer.
Bloomberg reported that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have already commenced ongoing reviews of both vaccines.
A source familiar with the trial confirmed to Bloomberg that Pfizer’s treatment was under review, although this has not been announced yet.
And a spokesman for Astrazeneca confirmed that its vaccine, which is being developed in partnership with Oxford University, was being evaluated.
Shares in the FTSE blue-chip were leaning towards the positive on the back of the report.
Earlier this week the Sun reported that hospitals in London had been told to prepare to receive the first doses of the Astrazeneca treatment.
The government has already purchased 100m doses of the potential candidate, subject to approval from regulators.
Rolling reviews allow regulators contemporaneous access to trial data in order to get drugs approved more quickly. They are used to speed through approvals where there is a public health requirement.
A spokeswoman for the MHRA said the agency couldn’t comment on rolling reviews due to commercial confidentiality.
Astrazeneca and Pfizer’s vaccines are among six horses that UK officials are backing in the race to find a cure for the new disease.
Both have expressed hopes to have the treatments cleared for use by the end of the year, though health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that a mass rollout of a vaccine is unlikely before next year.