FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
(Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L) has partnered with British cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica (OXB.L) to make its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, as the drugmaker looks to bolster its manufacturing capacity to produce one billion doses.
The deal comes a week after the United States secured almost a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for the vaccine, which has now moved to larger human trials in the global race to crack a solution to the coronavirus crisis.
The experimental shot is also being produced by the Serum Institute of India, the worlds largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, and AstraZeneca is in talks with several governments and global partners to increase production.
Oxford Biomedica said on Thursday it signed a one-year clinical and commercial supply agreement with AstraZeneca to provide multiple batches of the vaccine, called AZD1222, and that the majority of the batches would be produced throughout 2020.
Last month, Oxford Biomedica said it joined a consortium, including the Jenner Institute, that came together for possible large-scale manufacturing of AZD1222.
The vaccine, previously known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, was developed by the University of Oxfords Jenner Institute and licensed to AstraZeneca.
Oxford Biomedicas shares were up about 8% at 774 pence.
Separately on Thursday, GSK (GSK.L), the worlds largest vaccine maker, laid out plans to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine efficacy boosters for COVID-19 shots next year.
Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli