AstraZeneca partners with Oxford Biomedica to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity

AstraZeneca partners with Oxford Biomedica to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity

On 30th April, the University of Oxford announced a landmark partnership with AstraZeneca for the development and potential large-scale distribution of COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine candidate is in preclinical development, and clinical studies are planned to start later in 2020.

Dr Piero Di Lorenzo, President and CEO of Advent and IRBM said: "Our scientists have been working tirelessly, and with great passion, to manufacture and support the development of the COVID-19 vaccine for clinical trials".

John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica, said: "We are proud to be a part of the manufacturing consortium working with the Jenner Institute at University of Oxford, for the early manufacturing and scale up of this viral vector based candidate for COVID-19".

"Overall GSK does not expect to profit from sales of its portfolio of collaborations for COVID-19 vaccines made during this pandemic phase, as profit generated will be invested in support of coronavirus related research and long-term pandemic preparedness, either through GSK's internal investments, or with external partners", the company said.

In addition to its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which should enter clinical trials later this year, Themis is developing vaccine candidates for a number of infectious diseases such as Lassa fever.

The United States last week secured nearly a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 vaccine by pledging up to $1.2 billion. "The late-stage development of our Chikungunya vaccine candidate will be parked for now". As there is now no vaccine available for coronavirus, but researchers and medicine makers are working on it.It could take a minimum of 18 months to develop. More so, the manufacture of the vaccine comes just over one month after Advent received the seed stock.

While Themis' approach is not as novel, or as advanced, as some of the other options being developed, it may have the advantage that it uses a known and tested platform.

"It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time", Professor Adrian Hill, director of the university's Jenner Institute, told the Telegraph.

"We should see the results very soon", Soriot said. "Being able to respond quickly in a crisis situation such as a pandemic is critical to save lives".

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