AstraZeneca to Supply Europe with 400 M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
AstraZeneca has reached an agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), led by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020.
In late April (April 2020), the University of Oxford announced a partnership with AstraZeneca for the development and potential large-scale distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, now called AZD1222. Oxford University announced last month (May 2020) the start of a Phase II/III UK trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries. AstraZeneca says it committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.
With this agreement, the IVA aims to accelerate the supply of the vaccine, to make it available to other European countries that wish to participate in the initiative, and to provide equitable access to all participating countries across Europe.
AstraZeneca recently completed similar agreements with the UK, the US, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, a global public health partnership, for 700 million doses, and it agreed to a license with the Serum Institute of India for the supply of an additional one billion doses, principally for low- and middle-income countries. Total manufacturing capacity currently stands at two billion doses.
AstraZeneca says it continues to build a number of supply chains in parallel across the world, including for Europe. Earlier this month (June 2020), the company formed manufacturing agreements with several CMDOs/CMOs for its COVID-19 vaccine, including Emergent Biosolutions, Catalent, and Cobra Biologics. It also formed an agreement with Jacobs Engineering to retrofit a company facility in Ohio to manufacture the vaccine. AstraZeneca says it is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further and is open to collaborating with other companies in order to meet its commitment to support access to the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic.