AstraZeneca Plc has signed a contract with European governments to supply the region with its potential vaccine against the coronavirus, the British drugmaker’s latest deal to pledge its drug to help combat the pandemic.
The contract is for up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, the company said on Saturday, adding that it was looking to expand manufacturing of the vaccine, which it said it would provide for no profit during the pandemic.
Deliveries will start by the end of 2020.
The deal is the first contract signed by Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), a group formed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to secure vaccine doses for all member states as soon as possible.
“This will ensure that hundreds of millions of people in Europe will have access to this vaccine, of course if it works and we will know that by the end of summer,” the company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot told journalists. He said he has “good hope” that it will work, based on initial data.
The alliance “will work together with the European Commission and other countries in Europe to ensure everybody across Europe is supplied with the vaccine,” he said.
“We have a very self-sufficient supply chain for Europe” with manufacturers lined up in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Italy, among others, he said.