The gene and cell therapy company has penned a five-year collaboration agreement with the UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC). It will ensure Oxford Biomedica has the tools to rapidly produce ‘viral vector based vaccines’ – equipping it to transform the UK’s ability to manufacture at scale domestically. To facilitate this, VMIC will supply Oxford Biomedica with manufacturing equipment for use at its new world-leading Oxbox commercial facility in Oxford. The increased manufacturing capacity means Oxbox will be used to scale up the production of the Oxford vaccine, AZD1222 – now being led globally by AstraZeneca, to help meet demand across Europe.
“Since we became involved in addressing the urgent need for UK manufacturing capacity for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222, we have strived to support VMIC’s broader goal of accelerating and supporting UK manufacturing capacity and capabilities for vaccines more generally,” said John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica. “This highly collaborative partnership allows for a rapid deployment capability to be established, and also accelerates fit out and utilisation of another two GMP manufacturing suites within our new commercial manufacturing facility, Oxbox.”
More data from the human trials on AZD1222 that begun last month are expected soon, and if successful, will lead to ‘late-stage trials in a number of countries’. The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has already invested $1BN to support the potential roll out of the vaccine.
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