'So far, so good' on leading COVID vaccine, says AstraZeneca

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Britain's AstraZeneca said good data was coming in on its vaccine for COVID-19.

"The vaccine development is progressing well. We have had good data so far. We need to show the efficacy in the clinical programme, but so far, so good," Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on a media call.

AstraZeneca has already reached deals with countries to make more than 2 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, and says it could be approved by the end of this year.

The company has had a busy few months - it took on development of the COVID-19 shot, received billions in government funding, signed several supply deals, and was even the subject of a mega-merger speculation - all while marching on with its core business.

There are no approved vaccines for the illness caused by the new virus, but AstraZeneca's shot is widely considered the leading candidate after results from early-stage human trials showed it was safe and produced an immune response.

The drugmaker also announced second-quarter results that beat its sales and profit estimates, thanks to its diverse product line-up.

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