Hopefully by September we’ll be able to say to each other ‘have you had your AZD1222 today?’
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said it would begin first deliveries of University of Oxford’s potential coronavirus vaccine in September 2020 after it received orders for at least 400 million doses and secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses.
AztraZeneca says it has received $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the autumn. The development programme includes a phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants as well as a paediatric trial.
The company also said it had now finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, but now known by the barely more catchy label of AZD1222.
A phase I/II clinical trial of the potential vaccine, AZD1222, began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers, with data from the trial expected shortly which, if positive, would lead to late-stage trials in a number of countries, the company said.
if the vaccine proves effective and can be produced and distributed in sufficient numbers – all big ifs – together with a contact tracing system it should mark the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic.