AstraZeneca laboratory and Russia announced on Friday joint clinical trials combining their two vaccines against the new coronavirus.
“We are announcing a clinical trial program to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the combination of AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, and Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleïa research institute,” said AstraZeneca branch in Russia said in a statement, specifying that the tests would be performed on people aged 18 or over.
The two vaccines, AZD1222 and Sputnik V, use human adenoviruses as vectors.
In a statement released Friday, the Russian sovereign wealth fund, which is participating in the development of the vaccine, said it had offered AstraZeneca on November 23 the use of one of the two components of the Sputnik V vaccine.
“AstraZeneca has accepted the proposal (…) to use one of the two vectors of the Sputnik V vaccine in additional clinical trials of their own vaccine, which will begin before the end of the year,” adds the Russian sovereign wealth fund.
“Combinations of different Covid-19 vaccines can be an important step in generating broader protection through a stronger immune response and better accessibility,” AstraZeneca said.
The hope is that a combination of the two products can lead to a “better immune response”.
Russia claims its Sputnik V vaccine is 95% effective. It is currently in phase 3 of clinical trials with more than 40,000 volunteers. The country began vaccinating its population against the coronavirus last week, starting with occupations at risk.
The AstraZeneca laboratory and the University of Oxford announced for their part that their vaccine was effective at 70% on average.