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AZ partners with IDT Biologika to bolster manufacturing for COVID-19 vaccine in EU

AZ is looking to accelerate vaccine output in Q2 2021

AstraZeneca (AZ) has linked up with IDT Biologika to increase manufacturing of its Oxford University-partnered COVID-19 vaccine in the EU.

Earlier this month, the European Commission granted AZ/Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine a conditional marketing authorisation for use in people aged 18 years and older.

Following this authorisation, AZ said it had started shipping ‘millions’ of doses on 5 February, with an initial 17 million doses due to be delivered over the coming weeks.

AZ is now looking to accelerate output of the doses in the second quarter of 2021 to help increase vaccination drives in Europe.

As part of this new manufacturing partnership, AZ and IDT intend to make a joint investment in large-scale, additional drug substance capacity for the future.

Both companies are also planning to invest in IDT’s production site in Dessau, Germany to support the creation of up to five new 2,000-litre bioreactors, which will be capable of producing tens of millions of doses of AZ/Oxford’s vaccine each month.

“This agreement will greatly help Europe build an independent vaccine manufacturing capability that will allow it to meet the challenges of the current pandemic and create strategic supply capacity for the future,” said Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AZ.

“We are delighted to be investing with our partner IDT Biologika in the future health, security and well-being of millions of citizens across Europe,” he added.

In addition to strengthening output of doses of AZ/Oxford’s vaccine, the investment could also enable production of other vaccines which have a similar manufacturing processes.

In January, AZ and the EU were involved in a dispute over committed doses of the Oxford-partnered vaccine, after AZ said that it would reduce initial deliveries of the jab to the EU by 60% in the first quarter of 2021.

AZ initially said that it would reduce deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU by 60% in the first quarter of 2021.

This included aiming to deliver 31 million doses to the EU in Q1. A senior official told Reuters that the reduction in anticipated deliveries was due to production problems.

The EU has an advanced purchase agreement in place for the AZ/Oxford vaccine for the supply of 400 million doses, to be delivered in instalments.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced on 31 January that AZ will deliver nine million additional doses of the vaccine in the first quarter, with 40 million doses in total now expected to be delivered in this time frame.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

11th February 2021

From: Marketing

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