AstraZeneca unveils massive $750M deal in effort to produce billions of COVID-19 shots

Syringe injection vaccine needle
AstraZeneca said its total capacity for COVID-19 vaccine production has exceeded 2 billion doses per year. (Pixabay)

British drugmaker AstraZeneca has made clear its intent to rapidly scale production of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine hopeful despite a dearth of clinical data to support its use. Now, with an eye-popping deal worth three-quarters of a billion dollars, AstraZeneca is putting its money where its mouth is. 

The British pharma has inked a $750 million deal with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to manufacture and distribute 300 million doses of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020, the drugmaker said Thursday. 

AZ also agreed to a licensing deal with the Serum Institute of India to provide 1 billion doses of the vaccine to low- and middle-income countries, with the goal of 400 million produced by year's end. 

Featured Webinar

How to Streamline Your Clinical Research Organization's Processes End to End

Learn how implementing one platform leads to data consistency and ultimately facilitate faster clinical trials while reducing overall trial costs, leave behind spreadsheets and home-grown tools for a predictable trial and the ability to forecast unit delivery resulting in the optics you need to ensure a successful trial, and hear experts share industry trends of what is affecting the Clinical Research Organization industry today.

In total, the deals will bring AstraZeneca's overall supply capacity for Oxford's vaccine candidate to more than 2 billion doses per year, the drugmaker said. The agreement will task CEPI with manufacturing the vaccine, while Gavi will handle procurement.

AstraZeneca's enormous manufacturing and distribution layout represents the single largest effort so far to pump hundreds of millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine hopeful onto the market before the end of 2020. 

RELATED: AstraZeneca scores $1.2B from U.S., signs up to deliver hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines

Suggested Articles

Three facts about how distributors are managing in-demand inventory.

Novartis’ latest campaign with a celebrity dance partner asks people to bust a move to raise awareness around sickle cell anemia and therapy Adakveo.

Purdue has reached an $8 billion settlement with the U.S. government to settle criminal and civil charges for its role in the U.S. opioid crisis.