AstraZeneca said that it has closed an agreement with the European Commission (EC) for the supply of up to 400 million doses of the investigational AZD1222 vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19.
Licensed from the Oxford University, the AZD1222 vaccine candidate had delivered strong immune responses against the Covid-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 virus in all participants in a phase I/II trial called COV001.
AstraZeneca said that the agreement with the EC builds on the existing arrangement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance that is headed by Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The company said that the deal will provide all the member nations of the European Union (EU) the option to access its vaccine candidate in an equitable manner at no profit during the virus outbreak.
Furthermore, the deal also helps EU members to redirect doses of the investigational Covid-19 vaccine candidate to other European countries.
As per the deal signed in June 2020, the AZD1222 vaccine deliveries are slated to begin by the end of this year.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said: “This first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval. With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly, with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020.”
AstraZeneca revealed that it has been in talks with governments, multilateral organisations, and partners across the globe to facilitate broad and equitable access to the AZD1222 vaccine in the event of its clinical trials becoming successful.
The pharma major had recently made supply deals with Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, Latin America, and Brazil, which have taken the global supply capacity of the potential Covid-19 vaccine towards three billion doses.
The vaccine candidate was jointly invented by the University of Oxford and Vaccitech, its spin-out company. Its COV001 trial demonstrated that a single dose of the recombinant adenovirus vaccine following a month of its administration helped in boosting the antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein by four times in 95% of participants.
In May 2020, Oxford University started a phase 2/3 trial of AZD1222 in the UK in nearly 10,000 adult volunteers.