Sep 9, 2020 - Health

AstraZeneca CEO says coronavirus vaccine trial participant had neurological symptoms

AstraZeneca’s CEO in a suit
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot testifies before the Senate Finance Committee in February 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told investors that the company's coronavirus vaccine trial participant who experienced an adverse reaction had serious neurological symptoms consistent with a rare spinal disorder, Stat News reports.

Why it matters: The company is one of the front-runners in the global race for a coronavirus vaccine, but the development forced it to follow standard procedure by halting its late-stage trial.

What's new: The participant was a woman from the United Kingdom who will likely be able to leave the hospital by Wednesday, Soriot reportedly told investors on a private conference call.

  • He added that her condition is improving, though no diagnosis has yet been confirmed.
  • He said that the board overseeing the clinical trial confirmed that the participant received a coronavirus vaccine and not a placebo.

Worth noting: Stat also reported that Soriot told investors the company's trial had briefly been halted in July after another patient experienced neurological symptoms, though that participant was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that was deemed unrelated to the trial.

Go deeper