Emergent BioSolutions, an American biopharmaceutical company has signed an agreement to provide contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services for large-scale commercial drug substance manufacturing for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which it has co-developed with the University of Oxford. According to Emergent, it has signed a $174 million deal with AstraZeneca to produce the potential vaccine at large scale for commercial supply.
"Emergent is driven by our desire to advance solutions that will make an impact on this pandemic. Sharing a passion for science, we are encouraged by AstraZeneca’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine and look forward to supporting its continued progress," said Robert G. Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions in a press statement on July 27. The two companies had earlier in June signed an $87 million contract for development services, which brings the total commitment to $261 million.
AstraZeneca is one of the companies funded and supported by Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the US government’s program to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. As per reports, the deals between the two companies is part of the former's pledge to the United States to provide 300 million doses of the potential vaccine. Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility is designed for the rapid manufacturing of large quantities of vaccines and treatments during public health emergencies and has the capacity to produce tens to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine on an annual basis, based upon the platform technology being used.