- Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica said it had signed an 18-month supply agreement with AstraZeneca for commercial manufacture of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The deal was part of a three-year master supply and development agreement for the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.

Oxford Biomedica said the companies may extend the supply period for AZD1222 by a further 18 months into 2022 and 2023 by mutual agreement.

AstraZeneca would pay Oxford Biomedica £15m upfront as a capacity reservation fee.

Oxford Biomedica said it expected to receive additional revenue in excess of £35m plus certain materials costs until the end of 2021, subject to satisfactory scale up of manufacturing capacity.

The company said it would reserve capacity for AstraZeneca in up to three manufacturing suites in its new 7,800 square metre commercial manufacturing centre, Oxbox, for an initial 18 month period.

This pact built on a supply agreement between the companies announced on 28 May, which related exclusively to manufacture of AZD1222 at 200L scale and associated process development.

'We have been working hard with AstraZeneca and other partners to establish GMP manufacturing of AZD1222 at scale, and we are therefore very pleased to extend our current partnership to include large-scale manufacturing of the vaccine candidate, AZD1222,' chief executive John Dawson said.

'Our previously announced partnership with the UK's Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre has supported our ability to make additional facilities available for this supply agreement.'

'We look forward to continuing to work with AstraZeneca to rapidly contribute to the global effort to support the large-scale manufacturing of AZD1222 to ensure that the vaccine candidate is available if and when it is approved by regulatory authorities.'

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