AstraZeneca said on Friday that it would explore combining its coronavirus vaccine candidate with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine candidate. This decision comes after Russian scientists suggested combining the two could sharply boost efficacy.
In its statement on Friday, AstraZeneca said it was considering how it could assess combinations of different vaccines, and would soon begin exploring with Russia's Gamaleya Institute, which developed Sputnik V, whether two common cold virus-based vaccines could be successfully combined.
"Current full dose AstraZeneca regimen resulted in 62% efficacy. If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the #SputnikV human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy. Combining vaccines may prove important for revaccinations," the developers of Sputnik V had said last month.
They had said that Sputnik V is happy to share one of its two human adenoviral vectors with AstraZeneca to increase the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine. "Using two different vectors for two vaccine shots will result in higher efficacy than using the same vector for two shots," they had said.
AstraZeneca's vaccine has an average efficacy of 70.4 per cent, according to data published in a journal. Russia, meanwhile, has said that Sputnik V is 92 per cent effective.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund, which has funded Sputnik V, said: "This shows the strength of Sputnik V technology and our willingness and desire to partner with other vaccines to fight against COVID-19 together."