BARDA Commits $1.2 Billion to AstraZeneca Vaccine Program

May 22, 2020

Funding from the US government could lead to 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses by October 2020.

The US government has committed $1.2 billion to accelerate the development and manufacturing of a potential novel coronavirus vaccine developed at the University of Oxford (UK) and licensed to AstraZeneca, which potentially could deliver 300 million doses of the vaccine to the US by October 2020. This vaccine candidate, AZD1222, is the fourth to receive funding from the US government.

Under the agreement announced on May 21, 2020 between AstraZeneca and the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the US investment will support advanced clinical studies, vaccine manufacturing technology transfer, process development, scaled-up manufacturing, and other development activities.

The potential vaccine for COVID-19 is being developed by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, at the University of Oxford; AstraZeneca is responsible for the development and manufacturing of the potential vaccine, according to a licensing agreement announced on April 30, 2020.

A Phase I/II clinical trial with more than 1000 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years was initiated in southern England in April 2020. Phase 3 clinical studies of approximately 30,000 volunteers in the US will begin in the summer of 2020, AstraZeneca reported.

In a press statement, AstraZeneca reported that the company is committed to scaling up manufacturing at risk; the company has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses of the vaccine and will begin first deliveries in September 2020.

The vaccine must receive an emergency use authorization or licensure of the vaccine from FDA to be administered to patients.

Sources: US Department of Health and Human Services, AstraZeneca