There was a time—not so long ago—when COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers couldn’t produce doses fast enough.
But that was then, and this is now: Friday, when Oxford Biomedica revealed an extension of its contract with AstraZeneca through 2025, the deal was to make shots on an “as needed basis,” the company said.
This comes just nine months after Oxford announced a 50 million pound sterling ($68 million) investment from the over-strapped Serum Institute of India to increase its ability to manufacture COVID vaccines for AZ at its Oxbox facility.
At that time, three of Oxford's four production suites were engaged in making shots for AZ. As part of the investment, Oxford planned to bring on 120 additional employees.
Since signing on to make AZ shots in September of 2020, Oxford has produced more than 100 million doses. It will continue to make vaccines through the fourth quarter of 2022 and will realize revenue of 30 million pounds ($36 million) from those efforts this year, the company said.
But now, Oxford’s attention has returned to its primary mission to support the development and production of cell and gene therapies.
Producing the COVID vaccines has demonstrated the company’s “ability to expand the scope of our innovative process development services and deliver high-performing manufacturing solutions beyond lentiviral vectors,” Oxford Chairman and interim CEO Roch Doliveux said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with AstraZeneca and execute on our strategy to become a global leader across all viral vectors.”
In February of this year, Oxford said it had raised 39.4 million pounds ($53.3 million) in a share placing to help fund an 80% buy into U.S. viral vector manufacturer Homology Medicines.
A month later, the company launched Boston-based Oxford Biomedica Solutions, with a “plug and play” platform it said.