The company recently joined forces with the government to support University of Oxford’s potential vaccine and has progressed rapidly in its efforts to expand access around the world. AstraZeneca will supply 100 million doses to the UK and is thankful for the Government’s commitment and overall work on vaccines.
The pharmaceutical company has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far and will begin first deliveries in September 2020.
AstraZeneca aims to conclude further agreements, which will expand capacity further over the next months to ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine.
AstraZeneca has received support of more than $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the autumn. The development programme includes a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial.
The company is also working with international organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO), for distribution of the potential vaccine around the world.
AstraZeneca is also in discussions with governments around the world to increase access and is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase production and distribution.
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.