07 June 2020 | News
The company plans to manufacture two billion doses of the vaccine, with 400 million allotted for the U.S. and UK and one billion for low- and middle-income countries
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UK-based AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford partnered on the global development and distribution of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222 have increased their production target from earlier announced one billion doses to two billion potentially by the end of the year. The company announced plans to manufacture two billion doses of the vaccine, with 400 million allotted for the U.S. and UK and one billion for low- and middle-income countries.
AstraZeneca entered deals with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
At a summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, countries pledged to raise at least $8.8 billion to fund Gavi, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and UNICEF. At the time, Gavi also announced it was launching an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for future COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that new vaccines are allocated to poorer countries.
On 4 June 2020, the Company reached a $750m agreement with CEPI and Gavi to support the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the vaccine, with delivery starting by the end of the year. In addition, AstraZeneca reached a licensing agreement with SII to supply one billion doses for low and middle-income countries, with a commitment to provide 400 million before the end of 2020.
Together, the agreements mark the latest commitments to enable global access to the vaccine, including to low and middle-income countries, beyond AstraZeneca’s recent partnerships with the UK and US. The Company is building a number of supply chains in parallel across the world to support global access at no profit during the pandemic and has so far secured manufacturing capacity for two billion doses of the vaccine.
The agreement with CEPI and Gavi also represents the first advanced market commitment through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration of philanthropic, multilateral, private sector and civil society partners. The mechanism will work to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to the new COVID-19 tools across the world including in low and middle-income nations. CEPI will lead vaccine development and manufacturing and Gavi will lead the procurement within the global mechanism.
Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer, SII, said: “Serum Institute of India is delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low and middle-income countries. Over the past 50 years SII has built significant capability in vaccine manufacturing and supply globally. We will work closely with AstraZeneca to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine in these countries.”
AstraZeneca recently agreed to supply 400 million doses to the US and UK after reaching a licence agreement with Oxford University for its recombinant adenovirus vaccine, formerly ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now known as AZD1222.
Oxford University recently announced the start of a Phase II/III trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries. AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.