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AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announce agreement for COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca Cambridge

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have announced an agreement for the global development and distribution of the University’s potential recombinant adenovirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection from SARS-CoV-2.

The collaboration aims to bring to patients the potential vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, being developed by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, at the University of Oxford.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca would be responsible for development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine.

“As COVID-19 continues its grip on the world, the need for a vaccine to defeat the virus is urgent. This collaboration brings together the University of Oxford’s world-class expertise in vaccinology and AstraZeneca’s global development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities. Our hope is that, by joining forces, we can accelerate the globalisation of a vaccine to combat the virus and protect people from the deadliest pandemic in a generation,” says Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.

Phase I clinical trials last week

The potential vaccine entered Phase I clinical trials last week to study safety and efficacy in healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years, across five trial centres in Southern England. Data from the Phase I trial could be available next month. Advancement to late-stage trials should take place by the middle of this year.

“Our partnership with AstraZeneca will be a major force in the struggle against pandemics for many years to come. We believe that together we will be in a strong position to start immunising against coronavirus once we have an effective approved vaccine. Sadly, the risk of new pandemics will always be with us and the new research centre will enhance the world’s preparedness and our speed of reaction the next time we face such a challenge,” says Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

Photo of AstraZeneca’s new Cambridge R&D Centre and global HQ – Ground floor teaching lab