AstraZeneca Plc said on Thursday it had received the first agreements to supply at least 400 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford and plans to begin supplying it in September.
The British drug maker said it has a total capacity sourced for one billion doses through 2020 and into 2021, and continues to increase capacity further.
In addition, the Company is engaging with international organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the fair allocation and distribution of the vaccine around the world. AstraZeneca is also in discussions with governments around the world to increase access.
Furthermore, AstraZeneca is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase production and distribution.
AstraZeneca recently joined forces with the UK Government to support Oxford University’s vaccine and has progressed rapidly in its efforts to expand access around the world.
It will supply the UK starting in September and is thankful for the Government’s commitment and overall work on vaccines.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This pandemic is a global tragedy and it is a challenge for all of humanity. We need to defeat the virus together or it will continue to inflict huge personal suffering and leave long-lasting economic and social scars in every country around the world. We are so proud to be collaborating with Oxford University to turn their ground-breaking work into a medicine that can be produced on a global scale. We would like to thank the US and UK governments for their substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine. We will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available.”
AstraZeneca has now finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine. The licensing of the vaccine, formerly ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now known as AZD1222, follows the recent global development and distribution agreement with the University’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group. AstraZeneca has also agreed to support the establishment of a joint research centre at Oxford University for pandemic preparedness research.
A Phase I/II clinical trial of AZD1222 began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years across several trial centres in southern England. Data from the trial is expected shortly which, if positive, would lead to late-stage trials in a number of countries. AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.
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