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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Emergent BioSolutions signs deal with AstraZeneca for manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to provide contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services for large-scale manufacturing of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The $174 million deal runs through 2021. It follows an $87 million contract in June for development services, performance and process qualification, raw materials and an initial capacity reservation.

“Emergent is driven by our desire to advance solutions that will make an impact on this pandemic,” Robert Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions, said. “Sharing a passion for science, we are encouraged by AstraZeneca’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine and look forward to supporting its continued progress.”

The vaccine candidate, AZD1222, was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech, and licensed by AstraZeneca. It is one of the candidates funded and supported by the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program to accelerate the development of COVID-19 medical countermeasures. The vaccine candidate is currently in clinical trials.

“As COVID-19 vaccine candidates progress through the pipeline, Emergent stands ready alongside leading innovators to rapidly deploy our CDMO services to help meet the substantial demand for a vaccine – anchored on our foundational expertise in development and manufacturing and propelled by our commitment to our mission – to protect and enhance life,” Syed Husain, senior vice president and CDMO business unit head at Emergent, said.

Activities will be performed at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility, which has been designated as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The CIADM has unique capabilities to get candidates rapidly into the clinic, while at the same time scaling up to enable large-scale manufacturing to up to 4000L to meet customer demand. The CIADM has the capacity to produce tens to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine on an annual basis.

This agreement with AstraZeneca follows the landmark public-private CDMO partnership between Emergent and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced in June to pave the way for OWS high-priority innovators.