AzstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India (SII) have reached a licensing agreement to supply one billion doses of the Oxford University vaccine candidate against Covid-19 to middle and low income countries, including India. To begin with by this year end both companies have committed to provide 400 million doses, Astrazenca said in a statement on Thursday.
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", the company said.
The British drug maker also reached a $750m agreement with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and Gavi to support the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the potential vaccine, with delivery starting by the end of the year.
“We are 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", said Adar Poonawala, CEO of SII.Astrazeneca said that it 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 potential vaccine.
Today marks an important step in helping us supply hundreds of millions of people around the world, including to those in countries with the lowest means said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.