AstraZeneca has doubled the production capacity of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to 2 billion doses after concluding a series of agreements including two health organizations supported by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Last month, the pharmaceutical giant said it could produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine that it is developing in collaboration with researchers from the University of Oxford.
On Thursday, AstraZeneca announced it had signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to produce 1 billion doses intended for low and middle income countries. It plans to deliver 400m doses by the end of 2020.
AstraZeneca has also signed a $ 750 million (£ 595 million) deal with two healthcare organizations supported by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. These organizations, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Gavi vaccine alliance, will help find production facilities to produce and distribute 300m doses of the vaccine, with delivery beginning later this year.
The new offerings aim to ensure the early delivery of the vaccine to low-income countries. It is not yet clear whether the vaccines will work against Covid-19, but dozens of companies are in the running to develop one.
AstraZeneca, which overtook Royal Dutch Shell last month to become the UK’s largest market value company, said the latest deals are part of efforts to build supply chains for potential nonprofit vaccine. . The company has already decided to supply 300 million doses of the potential vaccine in the United States and another 100 million in the United Kingdom, with the first deliveries scheduled for September.