$750 Million Funding Supports Coronavirus Prevention Vaccine Launch

AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine candidate was formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
coronavirus vaccine being given to a person
(Precision Vaccinations)

A significant funding has been announced to ensure the equitable global access to the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.

The AZD1222 vaccine, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), which is a weakened version of a common cold virus that has been genetically changed to grow in humans.

AstraZeneca said in a press statement, it has reached a $750 million dollar agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

This financial support is for 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 USA,’ commented AstraZeneca on June 4, 2020.

AstraZeneca 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  2-billion doses of the potential vaccine.

AstraZeneca recently agreed to supply 400 million doses to the US and UK after reaching a license agreement with Oxford University for its potential vaccine.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca, commented: “We are working tirelessly to honor our commitment to ensure broad and equitable access to Oxford’s vaccine across the globe and at no profit.” 

“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. I am deeply grateful for everyone’s commitment to this cause and for their work in bringing this together in such a short time.”  

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer, SII, added: “Serum Institute of India is 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. We will work closely with AstraZeneca to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine in these countries.”

Oxford University recently announced the start of the 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 recognizes that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.

The Company’s comprehensive pandemic response also includes rapid mobilization of AstraZeneca’s global research efforts to discover novel coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies to prevent and treat the progression of the COVID-19 disease, with the aim of reaching clinical trials in the next 3 to 5 months. 

Additionally, the Company has quickly moved into the testing of new and existing medicines to treat the infection, including CALAVI, ACCORD, and DARE-19 trials are underway for patients with COVID-19 disease.

Precision Vaccinations publishes SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development news.