Nov. 5 (UPI) — Pharma firm AstraZeneca mentioned Thursday it’s on observe to ship outcomes from late-stage human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate earlier than the top of the yr.

The announcement raised hopes that an efficient vaccine towards the coronavirus illness may grow to be accessible earlier than the beginning of 2021.

“Outcomes from late-stage trials are anticipated later this yr, relying on the speed of an infection throughout the communities the place the medical trials are being performed,” AstraZeneca mentioned Thursday in its third quarter earnings report.

The corporate is creating the AZD1222 vaccine in collaboration with the College of Oxford. It’s within the closing section of trials in the USA, Britain, Brazil and South Africa with 23,000 volunteers.

The British and U.S. trials have been quickly positioned on maintain two months in the past when two individuals exhibited unexplained sicknesses, and AstraZeneca has already missed an preliminary September goal of delivering 30 million doses to the British authorities.

“Within the struggle towards COVID-19, we superior our vaccine collaboration with the College of Oxford and are launching Section III trials for our long-acting antibody mixture for the prophylaxis and therapy towards COVID-19 for individuals who want an instantaneous protection or whose weaker immune techniques imply they’re much less prone to profit from a vaccine,” mentioned AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot.

The drugmaker reported a 7% enhance in international gross sales, to $6.5 billion, from July to October, which Soriot known as “encouraging headway” regardless of “ongoing disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is one among a number of candidates now in late-stage medical trials worldwide, together with efforts from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, Novavax and Moderna.