Russia Approves Trial of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine​

A general view of AstraZeneca's Sydney headquarters, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, if it proves successful, through an agreement between the government and UK-based drug company AstraZeneca, in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Britain's AstraZeneca <AZN.L> has received regulatory approval to conduct part of a Phase III trial of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in Russia, a filing in the Russian registry of clinical trials showed on Friday. 

The trial of the AZD1222 vaccine will involve 150 participants and will be handled by four medical facilities in St. Petersburg and Moscow, the filing, dated Friday, showed. 

Moscow has previously agreed a deal with AstraZeneca to manufacture the potential vaccine, developed in tandem with Oxford University, at the facilities of Russian firm R-Pharm.

The British drugmaker said in a statement last week that late-stage trials of its vaccine were ongoing in Britain and in Brazil, an early-stage trial was progressing in South Africa, and that further trials were planned in the U.S., Japan and Russia.

Russia is also developing several potential COVID-19 vaccines domestically, with late-stage trials of the front-runner candidate, nicknamed 'Sputnik-V', set to begin next week.