AstraZeneca Seeks Switching COVID-19 Vaccine Production to Catalent Plant: NYT

  • AstraZeneca Plc AZN is in talks with the U.S. government to shift production of its COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Emergent BioSolutions Inc’s EBS Baltimore plant to a factory owned by Catalent Inc CTLTthe New York Times reported.
  • The company has been on the lookout for an alternative production site since the U.S. government stopped it from using Emergent’s Baltimore plant after workers accidentally contaminated a batch of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ vaccine with ingredients from AstraZeneca’s that was also being produced at the time.
  • Catalent will use its Maryland factory, which already produces the drug substance used in AstraZeneca’s vaccine, the NYT reported.
  • While it is unclear when the new line could begin operating, Catalent can potentially produce about 25 million to 35 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine a month on its new line, a rate similar to that expected from Emergent, said one federal official.
  • Any extra doses that Catalent produces for the government are also likely to be exported as the U.S has not yet authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for domestic distribution and has enough other vaccines to meet demand.
  • Regulators are also insisting that Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca provide extensive proof that batches of their vaccines produced by Emergent meet regulatory standards before allowing them to be released.
  • Price Action: CTLT shares closed at $100.72 on Wednesday, while AZN shares are down 0.50% at $55.82 during the premarket session on the last check Thursday.
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