AstraZeneca signs on Albany Molecular to help boost COVID-19 shot production

AstraZeneca is building its network of manufacturing partners for the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine front-runner. (Pixabay)(Guschenkova/iStockGettyImages)

British drugmaker AstraZeneca is on a mission to lock in as many manufacturing partners as possible to support a planned global rollout for its COVID-19 vaccine front-runner. A New York CDMO has now jumped on board, and it will commit its Southwestern facility to help pick up the slack.

New York-based Albany Molecular Research will pick up fill-finish duties for "millions of doses" of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 shot at its Albuquerque, New Mexico site, the CDMO said Thursday. 

Albany Molecular said it would support production of the vaccine, dubbed AZD1222, through 2021 on "unprecedented manufacturing timelines." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AstraZeneca's network of contract manufacturing partners for Oxford's shot continues to grow with the Albany Molecular tie-up as the British drugmaker pieces together a global supply chain that aims to distribute up to 3 billion doses of AZD1222 each year. 

RELATED: AstraZeneca shells out up to $60M to reserve more coronavirus shot capacity with Oxford Biomedica

RELATED: AMRI scooped up in $920M deal as contract manufacturing M&A rolls on

Albany Molecular was the target of a buyout back in June 2017 in what was then a rush of private equity into the contract manufacturing space. 

The CDMO agreed to sell to private equity investors The Carlyle Group and GTCR for $920 million, just weeks after major player Patheon closed its own buyout at $7.2 billion.

The same year, Albany Molecular made a big investment in its global aseptic filling capacity, including constructing a new line at the Albuquerque plant that will now handle AstraZeneca's work order.