Update (1230ET): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi felt the need to say something about the pause in AZN's study, but perhaps could have chosen some more appropriate phrasing...
"I'm very pleased that AstraZeneca has stopped their trial because they saw a problem that needs to be investigated. I'm so proud that the pharmaceutical companies have said they won't market or promote a vaccine unless it is properly approved."
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AstraZeneca has provided more details on reasons for pausing its COVID vaccine study.
As StatNews reports, the participant who triggered the global trial shutdown was a woman in the United Kingdom who experienced neurological symptoms consistent with a rare but serious spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis, the drug maker’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said during a private conference call with investors on Wednesday morning.
Soriot went on to say that while the woman’s diagnosis has not been confirmed yet, she is improving and will likely be discharged from the hospital as early as Wednesday.
Additionally, Soriot confirmed that the company’s clinical trial had been halted once previously in July after a participant experienced neurological symptoms; that participant was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, deemed to be unrelated to the vaccine treatment
After ramping overnight to erase the losses, AZN shares are sliding back on these new revelations...
Of course, while this is likely doing nothing to instill confidence in a vaccine-ready public, the broad market doesn't care today.