- Pharma giant AstraZeneca said it would begin first deliveries of the University of Oxford's potential coronavirus vaccine in September 2020 after it received $1 billion from a US government agency to develop the vaccine.

AztraZeneca received $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the fall. The development programme included a phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial.

The company said it had received commitments for at least 400 million doses and secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far.

The company also said it had now finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the recombinant adenovirus vaccine, formerly ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now known as AZD1222.

A phase I/II clinical trial of the potential vaccine, AZD1222, began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers, with data from the trial expected shortly which, if positive, would lead to late-stage trials in a number of countries, the company said.

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