AstraZeneca shares drop 6% after company announces ‘routine’ safety pause in vaccine trial

A small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine” sticker is held near a medical syringe.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

AstraZeneca shares fell more than 6% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company said its late-stage trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine had been put on hold due to safety concerns. 

“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, In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully,” the company said in a statement to CNBC. 

It said it was trying to expedite the review to “minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline.”

–CNBC’s Meg Tirrell contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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