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Early Wednesday morning in Asia, global markets got another blow to the risk-tone sentiment as AstraZeneca halts the phase 3 trials for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine citing a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom, per STAT news.

Key quotes

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca, a frontrunner in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, said in a statement that the company’s ‘standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.’

It was not immediately clear who placed the hold on the trial, though it is possible it was placed voluntarily by AstraZeneca and not ordered by any regulatory agency.

The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened were also not immediately known, though the participant is expected to recover, according to an individual familiar with the matter. 

The spokesperson described the pause as ‘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.’

The spokesperson also said that the company is ‘working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline.’

FX implications

While portraying the risk aversion wave, S&P 500 Futures drop 0.60% to 3,314 by the press time.