Building on the existing agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, this new agreement will give all EU member states the option to access the vaccine in an equitable manner at no profit during the pandemic. It also allows EU member states to redirect doses to other European countries.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval. With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly, with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020. I would like to thank the entire European Commission, and especially the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, for their swift response in ensuring Europeans may soon be protected with a vaccine against this deadly virus, enabling our global society and economy to rebuild.”
In July 2020, interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial were published in The Lancet and showed AZD1222 was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants. Clinical development of AZD1222 is progressing globally with late-stage Phase II/III trials ongoing in the UK and Brazil, a Phase I/II trial in South Africa, and trials planned in the US, Japan and Russia. Results from the late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the clinical trial communities.
AstraZeneca continues to engage with governments, multilateral organisations and partners around the world to ensure broad and equitable access to the vaccine, should clinical trials prove successful. Recent supply announcements with Russia, South Korea, Japan, China, Latin America and Brazil take the global supply capacity towards three billion doses of the vaccine.
AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.