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The companies will build capacity in Germany that will be ready in 2022 and are exploring options for increasing volume in 2021.
AstraZeneca and IDT Biologika are exploring options to increase volume for finished COVID-19 vaccines for Europe in the second quarter of 2021, the companies announced in a Feb. 10, 2021 press release. In addition, the companies are making a joint investment to build additional drug substance capacity that would start up in 2022.
Both companies plan to invest in capacity expansion at IDT Biologika’s production site in Dessau, Germany to build up to five 2000-L bioreactors capable of making tens of millions of doses per month of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2022. This investment could also allow for the manufacture of other vaccines sharing a similar manufacturing process. According to the press release, IDT Biologika will have among the largest vaccine manufacturing capacities of its kind in Europe and play an important part in ensuring Europe’s future vaccine supply independence.
“The agreement underscores our expertise in the production of demanding vector-based vaccines and our ability to provide a one-stop solution, from creating drug substance, through to ‘fill and finish’ and secondary packaging,” said Jürgen Betzing, CEO of IDT Biologika in the press release.
“This agreement will greatly help Europe build an independent vaccine manufacturing capability that will allow it to meet the challenges of the current pandemic and create strategic supply capacity for the future,” said Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO, in the press release. “We are delighted to be investing with our partner IDT Biologika in the future health, security, and wellbeing of millions of citizens across Europe. I would like to thank the German Federal Government and the European Commission for their support in our efforts.”
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was granted a conditional marketing authorization in the European Union on Jan. 29, 2021, and doses began shipping on Feb. 5, 2021.