Emergent in $174m deal with AZ to expand manufacturing commitment

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Duncan Andison)
(Image: Getty/Duncan Andison)

Related tags Emergent biosolutions Astrazeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccines

Emergent will produce commercial scale drug substance for AZ’s potential vaccine for COVID-19.

The two partners have built on an existing deal, made last month, which saw Emergent BioSolutions become AstraZeneca’s US contract manufacturer.

The previous agreement was worth approximately $87m (€74m) and the two companies have now extended this to include commercial scale manufacturing of drug substance for AZ’s COVID-19 vaccine prospect.

As a result, the partnership is now worth a total of $261m to the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) through 2021. Also included is the option for the manufacturing arrangement to be extended for a further three years.

Emergent will manufacture the drug substance out of its Bayview, US, facility, after the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) provided the company $628m in funds to reserve capacity for leading COVID-19 vaccine projects​.

The site is a designated ‘Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing’ under the US Department of Health and Human Services, with capacity for large-scale manufacturing up to 4,000L.

According to Emergent, the facility has the capacity to produce tens or hundreds of millions of vaccine doses annually.

The manufacture of AZ’s AZD1222 vaccine candidate will begin in 2020, with the company currently undertaking Phase II/III trials in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. AZ also expects trials to begin in the US shortly.

In early June, AZ was able to confirm that it had secured the capacity to manufacture two billion doses​ of its potential vaccine by the end of 2021, with this latest deal further adding to its total capacity.

Emergent will now spread its services across a number of the leading candidates against COVID-19, after it previously agreed deals to support the manufacture of Novavax’s possible vaccine​ and Johnson & Johnson’s candidate​.

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