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June 5, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca to provide 300 million doses of vaccine to CEPI and Gavi – EU to use $2.7bn emergency fund for Covid-19 vaccines

By Allie Nawrat

AstraZeneca has signed a $750m agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine. The company also entered a licence agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to provide one billion doses to low and middle-income countries.

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Seoul National University (SNU) Hospital have partnered to conduct a Phase I/II clinical trial of Inovio Pharmaceuticals‘ Covid-19 vaccine, INO-4800, in South Korea later this month. This is the first trial of a Covid-19 vaccine approved in Korea.

Australia-based biotechnology firm CSL has partnered with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Queensland to speed-up the development, manufacture and distribution of the university’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. CEPI and CSL agreed to fund the development and manufacture of University of Queensland’s potential vaccine.

France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have formed the ‘Inclusive Vaccine Alliance‘ to accelerate the production of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Dutch Health Ministry. The alliance will work to produce sufficient vaccine doses for the European Union (EU), along with other countries, including low-income markets.

Novavax has received contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373. Through funding by the Defense Health Program, up to $60m funding will be provided to support the company in manufacturing various components of the vaccine in the US.

The European Union (EU) has plans to use a $2.7bn emergency fund for advance purchasing of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates, reported Reuters citing EU officials. The move, which was discussed at an EU ambassadors meeting, will also see the use of the emergency fund to boost vaccine manufacturing capacity in Europe and provide liability insurance to pharmaceutical companies.

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