AstraZeneca said that it has finalized a deal with the European Commission (EC) for the delivery of up to 400 million doses of the AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate (formerly ChAdOx1 nCoV-19).
The deal is said to consolidate on the existing agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance led by Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Italy. It will give all the member states of the European Union (EU) the option to get access to the potential Covid-19 vaccine in an equitable way at no profit during the pandemic, said AstraZeneca.
The pharma giant said that the new agreement also enables EU member states to redirect doses of AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate to other European nations.
Pascal Soriot – CEO of AstraZeneca said: “This first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval. With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly, with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020.
“I would like to thank the entire European Commission, and especially the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, for their swift response in ensuring Europeans may soon be protected with a vaccine against this deadly virus, enabling our global society and economy to rebuild.”
Last month, interim results from the ongoing phase I/II COV001 trial revealed that AZD1222 was tolerated and had triggered strong immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all the assessed participants.
According to AstraZeneca, AZD1222’s clinical development is progressing across the world with late-stage phase 2/3 clinical trials taking place across the UK and Brazil, a phase 1/2 trial in South Africa, and trials planned in the US, Russia, and Japan.
The pharma giant said that its recent supply deals with Russia, South Korea, Japan, China, Latin America, and Brazil have taken the worldwide supply capacity of the AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate towards three billion doses.
Co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company Vaccitech, AZD1222, which has been licensed to AstraZeneca, uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened form of adenovirus that causes infections in chimpanzees and has the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.