Europe – Oxford inks manufacturing deal for COVID-19 vaccine

Oxford Biomedica has signed a new manufacturing agreement with a group backed by the UK government to help it scale up production of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine to cater to demand in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The gene and cell therapy firm said on Monday it agreed to a five-year partnership with the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) for equipment at its facility in Oxford, UK which would also help it make other vaccines.

While it is unclear if vaccines will work against the disease caused by the new coronavirus, dozens of companies are in the race to develop one amid ongoing trials. AstraZeneca said last week it was targeting two billion doses of its shot, AZD1222.

“This new partnership between VMIC and Oxford Biomedica … will specifically help ensure that we have the right skills in place to manufacture a vaccine as soon as one is available,” said Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce…