Shares of AstraZeneca Pharma tanked as much as 13.4 per cent to hit a low of Rs 3,650 on the BSE on Wednesday after the company's parent firm abruptly paused global trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The development came after a volunteer showed signs of "potentially unexplained" illness.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the company said its "standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data". AstraZeneca Plc didn't reveal any information about the possible side effect except to call it "a potentially unexplained illness". READ FULL REPORT HERE
The company, which is formulating and testing the vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University, is among the front-runners for last-stage trials of potential virus vaccine.
"This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials," CNN reported, quoting the company's statement.
At 9:50 am, the stock of AstraZEneca's Indian arm was down 10.2 per cent at Rs 3,784 per share, as against 0.5 per cent decline in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. The stock hit a record high of Rs 4,489 on September 7.
Late last month, AstraZeneca began recruiting 30,000 people in the US for its largest study of the vaccine. It also is testing the vaccine, developed by Oxford University, in thousands of people in Britain, and in smaller studies in Brazil and South Africa.
Cambridge-based AstraZeneca's vaccine is among the leading candidates in the global race for a successful vaccine and it has entered late-stage trials in the United States, the company said on August 31, as it targets 3 billion doses of the vaccine, globally, Reuters reported.
During June quarter results of FY21, the AstraZeneca Pharma India reported net profit of Rs 18.63 crore, down from Rs 21.51 crore reported in the year-ago quarter. Sequentially, profit rose from Rs 9.57 crore logged in quarter ended March 31, 2020. It's revenue from operations stood at Rs 193.57 crore, down from Rs 204.56 crore clocked in June quarter of FY19. The board declared interim dividend of Rs 2 per share for FY21.