Emergent signs US$174m deal to make AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine

Small bottles labelled with a ‘Vaccine Covid-19’ sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. — Reuters pic
Small bottles labelled with a ‘Vaccine Covid-19’ sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. — Reuters pic

LONDON, July 27 — Emergent BioSolutions Inc said today it signed a US$174 million (RM739.9 million) agreement with AstraZeneca to develop and manufacture the British drugmaker’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

AstraZeneca in June picked Emergent to help produce 300 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine pledged to the United States.

AstraZeneca has signed manufacturing deals globally to meet its target of making 2 billion doses of the vaccine, including with two Bill Gates-backed ventures and a US$1.2 billion agreement with the US government.

The company’s vaccine, which has been co-developed by University of Oxford, is among the first to move into mid-stage trials. There are no approved vaccines or treatments for Covid-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The latest contract follows an US$87 million contract in June where Emergent signed an agreement to become the development partner for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Activities under the agreement will be at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility, the company said, which is a designated center by the US Department of Health and Human Services for rapid manufacturing of large quantities of vaccines and treatments. — Reuters

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