AstraZeneca Signs First COVID-19 Vaccine Deal with China's Shenzhen Kangtai.

August 7, 2020, 4:29:29 AM

AstraZeneca signed a deal with Beijing-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to manufacture AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine in mainland China.

Shenzhen Kangtai is one of the top Chinese vaccine manufacturers. Under the agreement, Shenzhen Kangtai will ensure annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of AZD1222, the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, by the end of this year. Shenzhen Kangtai has capacity to manufacture at least 200 million by the end of next year as part of the deal. They will also discuss the possibility of cooperating on the vaccine candidate in other markets.

So far, AstraZeneca has signed manufacturing agreements for the vaccine with the U.S., Britain, South Kora and Brazil. These deals are for production of more than 2 billion doses of the vaccine.

Several Chinese companies are advancing their own COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, which announced positive early results from a Phase I/II trial of CoronaVac on June 15. Another is Tianjin, China-based CanSino Biologics, which in late May signed a co-development deal with Vancouver, British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems (PNI) for an mRNA lipid nanoparticle vaccine against COVID-19. CanSino Biologics, along with China’s military research unit, also reported positive early data on its Phase II trial of the vaccine, Ad5-nCOV, in late July.

Other Western vaccine makers have also entered deals with Chinese companies for their COVID-19 vaccines. These include Germany’s BioNTech, which partnered with China’s Fosun, and Inovio Pharma signed a deal with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology.

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