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Oxford partners with AstraZeneca on Covid-19 vaccine

Pharma firm will help with development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the university’s vaccine

The University of Oxford has partnered up with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on the global development and distribution of a vaccine aimed at preventing Covid-19 infection.

The potential vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and developed by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group at the university, entered phase one clinical trials last week.

Under the agreement with AstaZeneca, announced on 30 April, the firm would be responsible for development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of Jenner’s vaccine.

“This collaboration brings together the University of Oxford’s world-class expertise in vaccinology and AstraZeneca’s global development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities,” said Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer at AstraZeneca.

“Our hope is that, by joining forces, we can accelerate the globalisation of a vaccine to combat the virus and protect people from the deadliest pandemic in a generation.”

The Serum Institute of India, which is the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume, announced on 28 April that it also planned to produce up to 60 million doses of the potential vaccine, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on 27 April that two separate groups of researchers in US and China found that the vaccine protected rhesus macaques from Covid-19, raising hopes for the vaccine’s efficacy, though the teams only tested a small number of animals.