Maryland-based multinational specialty biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions has teamed up with AstraZeneca to bolster the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
On Monday, Emergent signed a deal with AstraZeneca to offer contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services to boost the manufacturing of a vaccine candidate, called AZD1222.
The experimental vaccine is a viral vector-based, weakened version of adenovirus, which contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
The deal is valued at more than $170 million. The CDMO services will later this year to produce drug substance at a large scale for commercial supply.
Earlier this month, Emergent teamed up with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical and made a five-year deal to manufacture J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine, called Ad26.COV2-S.
The deal with J&J, which was valued at $480 million over the first couple of years, came a month after Emergent collaborated with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) under Operation Warp Speed that is worth nearly $630million.
The vaccine candidate by AstraZeneca, which was developed at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, has also been supported and funded by the federal government under Operation Warp Speed.
Earlier this month, AstraZeneca released the findings of Phase I clinical trial of its experimental vaccine that showed promising results. The vaccine candidate generated neutralizing antibodies as well as immune T-cells that target the new coronavirus.
AstraZeneca has already moved into a Phase II/III clinical trials with about 30,000 expected participants. Last month, the UK-based pharmaceutical company announced that it would manufacture nearly two billion doses of its vaccine, with over 400 million doses allotted for the US and UK, and one billion for low- and middle-income countries.
Emergent President & CEO Robert Kramer said the company has been driven by its desire to boost solutions that will make a greater impact on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Senior VP of Emergent Syed Husain said, “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.”
Emergent will boost the manufacturing of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate at its Baltimore Bayview facility, which is a designated Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This HHS-designated center is known for the rapid manufacturing of vaccines and treatments in large quantities during public health emergencies.