Business & Finance
AstraZeneca signs agreement to supply Europe with up to 400 million doses of Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine at no profit
16 June 2020 -

AstraZeneca Plc (STO:AZN) (LSE:AZN), a science-led biopharmaceutical company, announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with Europe's Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020.

Reportedly, with this agreement, the IVA aims to accelerate the supply of the vaccine and to make it available to other European countries that wish to participate in the initiative.

According to AstraZeneca, it is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further and is open to collaborating with other companies in order to meet its commitment to support access to the vaccine at no profit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AstraZeneca has recently completed similar agreements with the UK, US, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for 700 million doses and it has agreed on a licence with the Serum Institute of India for the supply of an additional one billion doses, principally for low-income and middle-income countries. Currently, the total manufacturing capacity stands at two billion doses.

In May 2020, Oxford University announced the start of a phase II/III UK trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.

AstraZeneca added that it recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.

This announcement is not anticipated to have any significant impact on the company's financial guidance for 2020. Costs to manufacture the vaccine are anticipated to be offset by funding by governments, AstraZeneca clarified.