Covid-19 update: AstraZeneca ramps up capacity ahead of Oxford trial results
The capacity is based on the company’s agreements with producers in several countries - together, it said it now has total capacity sourced for one billion doses through 2020 and into 2021. First deliveries are expected in September.Updated: May 21, 2020 16:36 IST
Biopharma major AstraZeneca on Thursday said it has ramped up its capacity to produce a vaccine for Covid-19 on a wide scale ahead of initial results “expected shortly” from ongoing human trials at the University of Oxford.
The capacity is based on the company’s agreements with producers in several countries - together, it said it now has total capacity sourced for one billion doses through 2020 and into 2021. First deliveries are expected in September.
It is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India to increase production. AstraZeneca has received support of more than $1 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine.
In addition, the company said it is engaging with international organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation for the fair allocation and distribution of the potential vaccine around the world.
AstraZeneca has 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.
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” the company said.
CEO Pascal Soriot 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.”