AstraZeneca inks $87mn Covid-19 vaccine deal with US firm

US-based life sciences company Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has entered into an estimated $87 million deal to be the US manufacturing partner for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University.

The pact announced on Thursday comes after the US government booked about 300 million doses of the potential vaccine with a $1.2 billion deal with AstraZeneca last month.

“By partnering with leading innovators like AstraZeneca, Emergent is playing a critical role in increasing the world’s chances of having a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine,” Robert G. Kramer, President and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions said in a statement.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate is one of several candidates supported by Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the US government’s programme to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of Covid-19 medical countermeasures that aims to have substantial quantities of a safe and effective vaccine available for Americans by January 2021.

As part of OWS, Emergent will provide development and manufacturing services and capacity to innovators of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates selected by the US government, such as AstraZeneca.

Under the agreement with AstraZeneca, Emergent will provide development services, technology transfer, analytical testing, drug substance process and performance qualification and will reserve certain large-scale manufacturing capacity through 2020.

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