Drugmaker AstraZeneca has said that it is "on track" to roll out up to two billion doses of coronavirus vaccine in September. AstraZeneca is developing the AZD1222 vaccine in partnership with Oxford University. AstraZeneca recently approached rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences about a potential merger. According to a Bloomberg report, Gilead was contacted last month by AstraZeneca about the possibilities of merger.
In case the deal happens, it would bring together two firms leading the drug industry's efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. A spokeswoman for AstraZeneca said the company does not comment on rumours or speculation. Gilead's share price has climbed 18 per cent in 2020 as its antiviral drug for coronavirus, Remdesivir, showed successful results through clinical trials
Right now, over 100 experimental coronavirus vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). China's CanSino adenovirus vaccine, Oxford University's adenovirus vaccine, Moderna's mRNA vaccine, Novavax's vaccine are among the most promising candidates globally so far.
Even though various candidate vaccines have produced encouraging results in early stages, a clearer picture can only emerge when a diverse population gets tested. No vaccine so far has been able to clear the second obstacle.