$1.2 Billion Funding For SARS-CoV-2 Prevention Vaccine
A global pharmaceutical firm announced it has received financial support of about $1.2 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production, and delivery of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate.
Formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, AZD1222 was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group.
AstraZeneca said in a press statement on May 21, 2020, it will utilize the BARDA funding for the vaccine development program, which includes a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a pediatric trial.
AZD1222 uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold (adenovirus) virus that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, said AstraZeneca.
After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body.
The recombinant adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) was chosen to generate a strong immune response from a single dose and it is not replicating, so it cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual.
Vaccines made from the ChAdOx1 virus have been given to more than 320 people to date and have been shown to be safe and well-tolerated, although they can cause temporary side effects such as temperature, influenza-like symptoms, headache or a sore arm.
AstraZeneca said it has now finalized its license agreement with Oxford University for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine.
The licensing of the vaccine follows the recent global development and distribution agreement with the University’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group.
AstraZeneca said it ‘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 5-months.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines.
Precision Vaccinations publishes coronavirus vaccine development news.