Coronavirus: We can supply two billion potential vaccine doses, AstraZeneca says | Business News

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says it now has capacity to deliver two billion doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine over the next two years.

The number is twice what the company had originally promised, an increase due to new deals with the Serum Institute of India and two Bill Gates-backed organisations.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said on Thursday that the firm would consider more partnerships over the next few months, with the potential to expand production beyond two billion doses.

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Pascal Soriot says the company will know by August if the vaccine works

It is all, however, dependent on proof a vaccine is effective in protecting against coronavirus.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University have been working together on a possible vaccine and are thought to be among the front runners in a global race.

Mr Soriot said he expected to know by August whether the vaccine works, adding:

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Renault finalises 5 billion euro state-backed loan

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Renault carmaker is pictured at a dealership amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) – Renault (RENA.PA) finalised on Wednesday a 5 billion euro (4.45 billion pounds) loan from with the French government, strengthening the carmaker’s finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged the auto industry.

Renault said that the credit facility carried a guarantee from the French state – which owns a 15% stake in Renault – of up to 90% of the total amount borrowed.

Banks BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), HSBC France (HSBA.L), Natixis (CNAT.PA) and SocGen (SOGN.PA) were involved in the credit deal.

Renault also said in a statement that the loan would help finance the company’s liquidity requirements.

The carmaker announced last week plans

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VW closes $2.6 billion investment in self-driving startup Argo AI

FILE PHOTO: Signage at a Volkswagen dealership is seen in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) – German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) has closed its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup disclosed in a blog post on Tuesday.

Argo, founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, is now jointly controlled by VW and Ford Motor Co (F.N), which made an initial investment in Argo shortly after it was founded.

Details of the VW investment, which does not include an agreement to purchase $500 million (2.08 billion pounds) worth of Argo stock from Ford, was announced last July.

VW’s agreement includes the transfer to Argo of its Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, which boosts Argo’s employment to more than 1,000, according to Salesky.

Last week, VW disclosed that its supervisory board had approved several projects in a multibillion-dollar alliance

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Nissan sees cost of quitting Barcelona at up to $1.7 billion, source says

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) has estimated the closure of its plants in Barcelona could cost up to around 1.5 billion euros, a union source told Reuters on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nissan is seen through a fence at Nissan factory at Zona Franca during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barcelona, Spain, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Albert Gea

The cost of the closure is at the heart of a debate in Spain over the move, with the government saying it would be cheaper to keep the plants operating.

A Nissan spokesman declined to comment.

The decision to leave Barcelona was announced by the Japanese carmaker last week as part of a turnaround plan, triggering protests by workers and a commitment by Madrid to do all it can to convince the company to stay.

Barcelona-based La Vanguardia newspaper earlier on Monday cited Nissan documents as

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