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AZ seals deal with EC for coronavirus vaccine supply

AstraZeneca has finalised an agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 400 million doses of its AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine.

Building on the existing agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, this deal will give all EU member states the option to access the vaccine “in an equitable manner at no profit during the pandemic,” the company said.

It also enables EU member states to redirect doses to other European countries, as needed.

“This first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval,” noted AZ’ chief executive Pascal Soriot.

“With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly, with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020”.

Recently published interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial, published in The Lancet, showed that the vaccine, which was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company Vaccitech, was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants.

Late-stage Phase II/III trials are currently ongoing in the UK and Brazil, in addition to a Phase I/II trial in South Africa, and trials are also planned in the US, Japan and Russia.

Results from the late-stage trials are anticipated later this year.

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