AstraZeneca signed its first COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with a Chinese company, Kangtai Bio, opening up distribution to one of the world’s most populous countries. Drugmakers are racing to combat the pandemic that has now killed about 800,000 people.
There are no approved vaccines for COVID-19, but AstraZeneca’s shot is widely seen as one of the leading candidates.
The company has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to the vaccine by most of the countries with which it has so far struck supply agreements, a senior executive told Reuters.
Below are the main details of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine hopeful and its supply and production deals.
* The shot, called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is a recombinant viral vector vaccine developed by Oxford University.
* It was licensed to AstraZeneca in April.
* The vaccine candidate uses a weakened version of a common-cold virus that encodes instructions for making proteins from the novel coronavirus to build immunity.
* The shot is likely to provide protection for about a year, and the company is leaning towards a two-dose strategy for the potential vaccine.
* AstraZeneca says it will be able to manufacture the vaccine at a few dollars per dose.
* According to Italy’s health ministry, an AZD1222 shot would cost about 2.5 euros ($2.8) per dose in Europe.
* AstraZeneca has said it does not expect to profit from the vaccine candidate during the pandemic.
* Costs in other regions have not been disclosed.
* AstraZeneca’s CEO said good data has come in so far on the shot, after early-stage clinical trials showed it was safe and produced an immune response.
* Late-stage trials are currently underway in Britain, Brazil and South Africa, and are due to start in the United States in the third quarter.
* Talks are ongoing with Mexico, and reports have said the Indian regulator has also given a nod for mid-to-late-stage trials.
* The vaccine could be rolled out by year-end, but there is no certainty of that, its lead developer said in July.
* Data from late-stage studies is expected by August to September.
* Delivery of the first doses is expected between September and October.
* Experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12-18 months to develop.
* More than 2.1 billion TIE-UPS
* With U.S. backing, AstraZeneca has tied up with IQVIA to speed up trials. Even before conclusive evidence of the vaccine’s success or failure, AstraZeneca has signed other deals to produce and supply the shot.