AstraZeneca Takes Next Steps towards Broad and Equitable Access to Oxford University’s Potential COVID-19 Vaccine
London: British drugmaker AstraZeneca has taken the next steps in its commitment to broad and equitable global access to the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, following landmark agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Company has reached a $750m agreement with 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.
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 the company’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 potential 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.
AstraZeneca recently agreed to supply 400 million doses to the US and UK after reaching a licence agreement with Oxford University for its potential vaccine.
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’s comprehensive pandemic response also includes rapid mobilisation of AstraZeneca’s global research efforts to discover novel coronavirus-neutralising antibodies to prevent and treat progression of the COVID-19 disease, with the aim of reaching clinical trials in the next three to five months. Additionally, the Company has quickly moved into testing of new and existing medicines to treat the infection, including CALAVI, ACCORD and DARE-19 trials underway for patients with COVID-19.