New Delhi: British-Swedish multinational biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced it has reached a licensing agreement with Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) to supply 1 billion doses of University of Oxford’s potential Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, for low-and-middle-income countries, with a commitment to provide 400 million before the end of 2020.
“We are working tirelessly to honour our commitment to ensure broad and equitable access to Oxford’s vaccine across the globe and at no profit. Today marks an important step in helping us supply hundreds of millions of people around the world, including to those in countries with the lowest means,” said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.
Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer, SII, said that the Serum Institute of India is delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low-and-middle-income countries.
“Serum Institute of India is delighted to partner with Astra Zeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low and middle-income countries. Over the past 50 years, SII has built significant capability in vaccine manufacturing and supply globally. We will work closely with Astra Zeneca to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine in these countries,” said Poonawalla in a press statement.
Commitment to supply 400 million vaccine doses to US & UK
AstraZeneca recently agreed to supply 400 million doses to the US and UK after reaching a licence agreement with Oxford University for its potential vaccine.
The Cambridge-based company is building a number of supply chains in parallel across the world to support global access at no profit during the pandemic and has so far secured manufacturing capacity for two billion doses of the potential vaccine, it said in a statement.
Oxford University recently announced the start of a Phase II/III trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.
100 vaccines in race to find Covid cure
Additionally, AstraZeneca has quickly moved into testing of new and existing medicines to treat the infection, including CALAVI, ACCORD and DARE-19 trials underway for patients with Covid-19.
“We encourage other vaccine manufacturers to work with us towards the shared global goal of finding solutions for this unprecedented pandemic,” said Dr Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, Gavi.
Over 100 vaccines are currently in the race to end the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected over 6.5 million people globally.
Corona figures in India cross 3 lakh
Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 tally on Saturday witnessed its highest-ever spike of 11,458 cases, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). A total of 386 deaths have been reported due to the infection during the last 24 hours.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 3,08,993 including 1,45,779 active cases 1,54,330 cured/discharged/migrated and 8,884 deaths.