AstraZeneca is the company that could produce the coronavirus vaccine. The pharma giant has reached an agreement with Oxford University on the production of the vaccine, if it passes the latest efficacy and safety tests. The human tests began last week and could be completed over the summer. By the end of the year, 100 million doses could be produced, but the partnership gives priority to the United Kingdom.
Under the agreement announced on Thursday, the Cambridge pharmaceutical group would produce and distribute the potential vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCov-19, which is currently being developed in Oxford.
“This collaboration brings together Oxford University’s world-class expertise in vaccinology and AstraZeneca’s global development, production and distribution capabilities,” the company said. “We want to be ready to launch and deliver up to 100 million doses by the end of the year and then expand from there,” Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.
The agreement between AstraZeneca and Oxford University provides for the vaccine to be distributed on a non-profit basis. Basically, the final cost of the vaccine will only cover the costs of production and distribution.
According to the WHO, there are currently 89 vaccines under development. Specialists say it will take between 12 and 18 months for a vaccine to be considered safe to be distributed and administered to the population.