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AZ secures capacity for one billion coronavirus vaccine doses

Initial agreement to supply 400 million doses of Oxford University’s vaccine

Coronavirus vaccine

AstraZeneca has announced that it has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine currently being tested by researchers at the University of Oxford.

The UK-headquartered pharma giant added that it has already concluded initial agreements with the Oxford University team for at least 400 million doses of the vaccine, and has plans to begin its first deliveries of the vaccine this September.

AZ has also finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the vaccine candidate, with the vaccine dropping its initial ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 name and will now be called AZD1222.

Across the pond, the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has committed $1bn to AZ’s development, production and delivery of the vaccine. That funding will go toward a pivotal phase 3 clinical trial with 30,000 participants as well as a paediatric trial.

AZ is also working with other international organisations, including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure equal distribution and access to the vaccine globally.

The Oxford University adenoviral candidate, AZD1222, has completed a first round of dosing in trials and is due to produce results later this month. It has been awarded millions in governmental support for rapid development and research in a bid to fast-track the vaccine through clinical testing.

Another UK-based vaccine candidate, which is being developed by a team of researchers from Imperial College London, is also being fast-tracked and is due to begin trials in June.

Earlier this month, the UK government pledged £131m for a ‘rapid deployment facility’ for coronavirus vaccines, with the aim of being able to produce millions of doses of vaccines at scale.

The national Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) will be based in Oxford and will be able to serve the entire population in just six months once it is fully operational, according to business secretary Alok Sharma.

“We are so proud to be collaborating with Oxford University to turn their groundbreaking work into a medicine that can be produced on a global scale,” said Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AZ.

“We would like to thank the US and UK governments for their substantial support in accelerating the development and production of the vaccine. We will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available,” he added.

Meanwhile, an mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by Moderna has produced initial promising results, after it stimulated COVID-19 antibodies in healthy volunteers in phase 1 testing.

Article by

22nd May 2020

From: Research, Healthcare



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