Oxford Biomedica signs agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine

Oxford Biomedica

Leading gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica plc has signed a one year Clinical & Commercial Supply Agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture multiple batches of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which recently entered clinical trials in the UK.

Oxford Biomedica is working alongside AstraZeneca and other manufacturing organisations to provide large scale manufacturing capacity for this vaccine, should the trials prove it successful.

As part of the Clinical & Commercial Supply Agreement, AstraZeneca will have access to Oxford Biomedica’s new 7,800 m2 commercial manufacturing centre Oxbox, in Oxford, which only received Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval for its first two manufacturing suites earlier this month.

Last month, Oxford Biomedica announced that it had joined a consortium including the Oxford-based Jenner Institute to  potential for large scale manufacture of AZD1222. AstraZeneca and Oxford University subsequently announced an agreement to enable global development, manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine.

The initial agreement requires Oxford Biomedica to provide AstraZeneca with multiple batches of vaccine, the majority of which are expected to be produced throughout 2020. The Commercial Supply agreement may be extended further depending on the progression of the programme.

John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica, said: “We are proud to be a part of the manufacturing consortium working with the Jenner Institute at University of Oxford, for the early manufacturing and scale up of this viral vector based candidate for COVID-19. Following the recent announcement of an agreement between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, we are very pleased to be one of AstraZeneca’s global network of manufacturing partners, and look forward to them being the third company to have rapid access to our specialised manufacturing capacity for this vaccine candidate at Oxbox”.

Oxbox is Oxford Biomedica’s new 7,800 m2 commercial manufacturing centre. Phase I consists of  4,200 mof developed area consisting of six Good Manufacturing Practices (“GMP”) clean room suites – four for vector production and two for fill-finish, warehousing and cold chain facilities and support laboratories.

Phase II will provide for flexible expansion for a further six GMP clean room suites. This world class facility is expected to more than double Oxford Biomedica’s manufacturing capacity, supporting further growth in revenues.