• Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:58 am

AstraZeneca targets 2 billion doses, poor countries with Covid vaccine deals

  • Published at 11:44 am June 5th, 2020
AstraZeneca
File photo: The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in London, April 28, 2014 Reuters

Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said the trial results could be available in August

British drugmaker AstraZeneca has doubled manufacturing capacity for its potential coronavirus vaccine to two billion doses in two deals involving Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates that guarantee early supply to lower income countries.

The deals with epidemic response group CEPI and vaccine alliance GAVI are backed by the World Health Organization and aim to quell concerns that the company was committing all initial supplies of the vaccine to the developed world.

It is unclear if vaccines will work against the coronavirus but dozens of companies are in the race to develop one, and AstraZeneca’s partnership with Oxford University is one of a handful to be backed so far by US President Donald Trump’s Covid task force.

The White House last month secured 300 million of the first doses of the potential vaccine, named AZD1222, in a deal that also committed more than $1 billion in backing to testing and manufacturing. Britain previously booked another 100 million.

Under Thursday’s deals, the company will supply 300 million doses, starting this year, to CEPI and GAVI as it aims at fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said.

He said AstraZeneca had also agreed terms with Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, to supply one billion doses for low and middle-income countries.

An unspecified part of the vaccine doses produced by Serum will be used in India, with the remainder again to be distributed by GAVI in other lower-income countries, the company said on a call with journalists.

That leaves AstraZeneca with 300 million doses in planned production capacity, which has yet to be earmarked for use.

Astra is open for partners to sponsor even more volumes but it may be nearing a ceiling with plans laid out so far because the risk should be spread across different vaccine technologies, Soriot said.

Experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12-18 months to develop.

The vaccine, previously known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, was developed by the University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca.

Evidence of immunity to the new coronavirus has yet to be produced in ongoing trials but production will start nonetheless to be ready for mass roll-out once regulatory approval is given.

Soriot did not comment on the odds of the compound to be proven safe and effective, but added that trial results could be available in August, if enough trial participants caught the virus to yield reliable numbers.

“You can’t spend your time wondering is it going to work. We have to commit. That’s what we do in the industry, we bet on something. We are completely committed to the vaccine program to deliver,” Soriot said.

60
59
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail