The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is investing $1BN to support AstraZeneca develop the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca revealed the news today, as it announced it has made initial agreements to supply a minimum of 400 million doses, with capacity in place to produce one billion doses throughout 2020 and 2021, and work ongoing to increase this further.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca 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.”
The vaccine, initially developed at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, has been supported to date by a consortium of stakeholders including the UK government and Oxford Biomedica. Having agreed the licensing agreement for the ChAdOx1 vaccine – now called AZD1222 – AstraZeneca will lead the development and manage the worldwide manufacturing and distribution pipelines of AZD1222. If the vaccine proves effective, first deliveries will be made in September.
More data from the human trials that begun last month are expected soon, and if successful, will lead to ‘late-stage trials in a number of countries’.
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