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Good News on Oxford Vaccine Is Bright Spot in Somber Covid-19 Landscape - Barron's
A vaccine developed by academic scientists at the University of Oxford is moving quickly into large clinical trials, giving investors a dose of optimism amid a grim landscape.The New York Times reported that the lab plans to begin a Phase 2/3 trial in May that will include thousands more volunteers.The Jenner effort is the highest-profile Covid-19 vaccine program being conducted in an academic lab. Other leading vaccine efforts come from biotech companies like Moderna (MRNA) and pharmaceutical firms like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Sanofi (SNY), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). MilliporeSigma, a division of the German company Merck KGaA (MRK.Germany), said on April 14 that it would work on manufacturing the vaccine with Jenner. Oxford Biomedica (OXB) is also working on manufacturing the vaccine. In a note on Monday, ISI analyst Josh Schimmer wrote that the quick time frame of getting the Jenner vaccine into large-scale trials was important because it helps provide information on correlates of protections for the virus, or signs that an individual is immune. Those are key for evaluating the effectiveness of future vaccines. This is really important, because moving quickly to assess a vaccine efficacy while COVID infections are still common can provide valuable information regarding Correlates of Protection, Schimmer wrote. If studies wait too long to start, and there arent major outbreaks left, it could be hard to establish the CoPs. Stocks rose on Monday, with the S&P 500 climbing 1.5%. On Tuesday morning, stocks climbed another 0.5%. Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected]