UK drug giant AstraZeneca on Friday announced that it is beginning Phase 1/2 clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in Japan. The trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, known as AZD1222, will be conducted at multiple facilities in Japan and will be tested on 250 patients, said the company in a statement.
The British company is working with Daiichi Sankyo, JCR Pharma and other partners in Japan to make and distribute the vaccine. The small-scale trials would be done on 250 subjects in multiple facilities across the country.
Phase one and two tests are done on small groups of people to see whether the COVID-19 vaccine provokes the immune system and if there are any side effects.
Meanwhile, volunteers from the UK, US, Brazil and South Africa have already been injected with the experimental drug and are being monitored by scientists.
Following an announcement, earlier this week, 30,000 volunteers from the US were taking part in the final stages of the COVID-19 vaccine trial. Currently, over 50,000 people are testing - AZD1222 - around the world.
Sarah Gilbert, Oxford's Professor, said that preliminary data from trials in some countries could be expected in the coming weeks.
AstraZeneca further stated that the trials are also planned in Russia, where there have been a million coronavirus cases. AstraZeneca and the Oxford scientists have promised to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.