Britain’s AstraZeneca announces Russian partnership for COVID-19 vaccine

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced on Friday that it would collaborate with a Russian state producer to potentially combine their coronavirus vaccines.

“Combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines may be an important step in generating wider protection through a stronger immune response and better accessibility,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

The collaboration would test a combination of the AZD1222 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and the Sputnik V vaccine, by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, it said.

Both of those are adenoviral vector vaccines, which contain genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein but cannot replicate.

The combined vaccine was to be tested in a clinical trial among adult volunteers, AstraZeneca said.

The collaboration is “important to explore the potential of vaccine combinations unlocking synergies in protection and accessibility through a portfolio approach,’’ the statement said. (dpa/NAN)

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