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AstraZeneca Receives Over $1B In BARDA Funding For Coronavirus Vaccine

AstraZeneca Receives Over $1B In BARDA Funding For Coronavirus Vaccine

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN), which is collaborating with the Oxford University to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, announced Thursday a funding commitment from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and also unveiled manufacturing plans.

BARDA Extends Over $1B In Funding

The U.K.-based, large-cap biopharma, which is one of the best-performing companies in the space this year, said it has received a funding commitment of more than $1 billion from the BARDA for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine starting this fall.

The development program also covers a Phase 3 trial with 30,000 participants and a pediatric trial. 

The Oxford University began human trials of its chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector, codenamed ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, April 24, and struck a partnership with AstraZeneca on April 30. 

Last week, a professor at the university said in an interview that Phase 1/2 results could be made available in mid-June.

AstraZeneca said today it has finalized the licensing agreement with the Oxford University, with the vaccine candidate now renamed AZD1222.

Morgan Stanley said in a recent note the Oxford University's vaccine candidate is one of the likeliest ones to succeed.

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AstraZeneca's Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Update 

AstraZeneca said the data from the Phase 1/2 trial that began in April is expected shortly.

The trial is meant to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers ages 18-55 years across several trial centers in southern England.

The company plans to initiate late-stage trials in a number of countries contingent upon the success of the trial. 

"AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk," the company said.

AstraZeneca's Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing Plans

AstraZeneca also said it is working with other international organizations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization for the distribution of the vaccine around the world.

Specifically, the company said it is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase production and distribution.

The company said it has concluded the first agreements for at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for 1 billion doses so far. First deliveries are set to begin in September 2020, AstraZeneca said. 

AZN Price Action

The stock was trading 6.39% higher to $57.22 at the time of publication Thursday. 

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