Oxford Biomedica plc, the leading gene and cell therapy group, has signed an 18 month supply agreement with AstraZeneca UK Ltd for large-scale commercial manufacture of the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.
AstraZeneca will pay Oxford Biomedica £15 million upfront as a capacity reservation fee. Subject to satisfactory scale up of manufacturing capacity and continuation of the vaccine programme, Oxford Biomedica expects to receive additional revenue in excess of £35 million plus certain materials costs for the manufacture of multiple large-scale batches of AZD1222 until the end of 2021.
It means that Oxford Biomedica’s newly built facility at Oxbox in Oxford (the city’s former Royal Mail sorting office), will a lot busier than anticipated. As part of the Agreement, Oxford Biomedica will reserve capacity for AstraZeneca in up to three manufacturing suites in the Group’s new 7,800 m2 commercial manufacturing centre, Oxbox in Oxford for an initial 18 month period.
This new GMP facility is suitable for manufacturing viral vectored vaccines and gene therapy vectors up to 1,000 litre scale. As part of Oxford Biomedica’s previously-announced partnership with the UK’s Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) two new manufacturing suites within Oxbox will become operational in the next two months, significantly earlier than originally planned by the Group.
While this Agreement means the Group has dedicated multiple new manufacturing suites to this critical project, Oxford Biomedica does not expect any impact to the Groups current partnerships or ability to secure and support additional new partnerships in the cell and gene therapy field.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica, said: “We have been working hard with AstraZeneca and other partners to establish GMP manufacturing of AZD1222 at scale, and we are therefore very pleased to extend our current partnership to include large-scale manufacturing of the vaccine candidate, AZD1222. Our previously announced partnership with the UK’s Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) has supported our ability to make additional facilities available for this supply agreement. We look forward to continuing to work with AstraZeneca to rapidly contribute to the global effort to support the large-scale manufacturing of AZD1222 to ensure that the vaccine candidate is available if and when it is approved by Regulatory Authorities.”