AstraZeneca signs first agreements to deliver at least 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
May 21, 2020
  • AstraZeneca signs first agreements to deliver at least 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The British multinational pharmaceutical company receives £820 million in funding from BARDA.
  • The drugmaker is collaborating with the University of Oxford to develop its COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) is collaborating with the University of Oxford to develop its COVID-19 vaccine.  In a statement on Thursday, the company said that results of its clinical trial (early stage) are expected presently. Upon successful testing, the drug manufacturer said, it will commit to supplying at least 1 billion doses in 2020 and 2021.

The announcement also highlighted the British pharmaceutical company to have signed the 1st agreements which require it to deliver a minimum of 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

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The company also expressed confidence that if the early trial produces positive results, it will launch late-stage clinical trials in multiple countries.

Shares of the company are just under 1% down on Thursday as compared to the closing price on Wednesday when it received FDA approval for Lynparza drug as a treatment for prostate cancer. At 8,810, AstraZeneca is currently 15% up year to date in the stock market.  

AstraZeneca receives £820 million in funding from BARDA

According to AstraZeneca, the U.S Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) pledged £820 million in funding for development of the potential Coronavirus vaccine, its production, and supply. The flu-like virus has so far infected more than 5 million people worldwide and caused 329,500 deaths.

AstraZeneca said that its testing for COVID-19 vaccine also includes a late-stage trial that, as per the company, is likely to include 30,000 participants. The pharmaceutical company also plans on conducting a paediatric trial of the COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca is currently committed to starting supply of vaccine in the United Kingdom by September 2020.

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Prominent drugmakers working on developing COVID-19 vaccine

Other drugmakers that are currently committed to developing a safe to use, effective COVID-19 vaccine include Pfizer Inc, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson. Inovio Pharmaceuticals said on Wednesday that its potential vaccine produced protective antibodies against the Coronavirus in mice and guinea pigs.

The American biotech company, Moderna, also announced earlier this week that its potential vaccine showed positive data in a small number of healthy participants in which the vaccine produced protective antibodies.

AstraZeneca also highlighted on Thursday that it is in talks with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant international bodies to ensure fair distribution and allocation of the Coronavirus vaccine around the globe.

AstraZeneca is currently valued at £115.57 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 105.15.