Emergent BioSolutions Inc said on Thursday it signed an $87 million deal to make AstraZeneca Plc’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, boosting the British drugmaker’s efforts to bring a vaccine to the market.
The deal comes weeks after the United States pledged up to $1.2 billion to secure 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is among the first to move into mid-stage trials.
AstraZeneca has said that the first indication of the effectiveness of its vaccine would likely be available in June or July. However, experts have cautioned that a safe and effective vaccine could take at least 12 to 18 months from the start of development.
Under the agreement, Emergent said large-scale manufacturing of the vaccine will be done at its Baltimore Bayview facility, which has the capacity to produce up to hundreds of millions of doses annually.