CEPI announces new partnerships with AstraZeneca and CSL, Australia to manufacture millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates
CEPI’s partnership with AstraZeneca
CEPI has partnered with AstraZeneca, providing up to US $383 million in funding to support the manufacture of 300 million doses of their vaccine candidate, AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford.
AZD1222 has now progressed into late-stage Phase II/III clinical trials, with more than 10,000 volunteers taking part across the UK. CEPI’s initial seed funding supported the early development of this vaccine candidate, helping to advance it to the promising stage of development reached today.
If the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, the first doses produced under this agreement are anticipated to be available in early 2021, with the full quota of 300 million doses expected by July 2021. Critical to our commitment to ensuring global equitable access, these doses will be ringfenced for the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, an instrument of the Vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator within which CEPI works, in partnership with Gavi and the World Health Organization.
This new partnership announcement was made yesterday alongside Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit 2020. In addition to completing its aim to raise significant funding to support its essential work, the event also served as a platform to launch Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a separate finance mechanism to ensure vaccine supplies for lower income and lower-middle income countries. AstraZeneca has become the first vaccine manufacturer to sign up to the Gavi COVAX AMC - further details on this new finance mechanism are available on the Gavi website.
CEPI, University of Queensland, and CSL
CEPI has also announced a significant new partnering agreement with The University of Queensland (UQ) and CSL to accelerate the development and manufacture of UQ’s “molecular clamp” enabled COVID-19 vaccine. Funding contributions will support a pending Phase 1 study, followed by subsequent late stage clinical trials, and industrial-scale manufacturing to allow for the production of potentially millions of doses a year, should the product be approved.
Early preclinical results of the UQ COVID-19 vaccine candidate show that it produced high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus. The initial phase of manufacturing is planned to take place at CSL’s facilities in Melbourne, Australia, with the anticipation that the production technology can be scaled up, to include other manufacturers with a geographical distribution, to produce up to one hundred million doses towards the end of 2021.
As with CEPI's AstraZeneca deal, global equitable access is a central component to our partnership with UQ and CSL. If the vaccine is safe and effective, we will provide a significant number of doses to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility for those who need them most, while also allowing CSL to fulfil its own long-standing biosecurity commitments.
CEPI's press releases (partnership with AstraZeneca, partnership with UQ and CSL) provide further information on our new partnerships. Coverage of our deal with AstraZeneca features in Reuters and The Guardian, and in ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review in Australia and Reuters for the UQ-CSL partnership.