COVID19: AstraZeneca & Serum Institute of India collaborate to sign a deal for 1 billion doses of the novel Oxford University vaccine
The new Oxford University vaccine AZD 1222 shows promising results in COVID-19 patients. A deal signed by AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India promises a billion doses of the vaccine for middle and low-income countries.
With COVID-19 claiming its share of lives every day, the situation seems to get worse in middle and low-income countries such as India itself. Every day is dangerous with COVID-19 merging victorious. Social distancing and maintaining hygiene standards is especially near to impossible in heavily populated developing countries.
Recently, Oxford University announced that it will be moving forward to the phase II/III trial of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD 1222 formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. AstraZeneca along with Serum Institute of India has signed a deal to supply 1 billion doses of AZD 1222.
“AstraZeneca recognizes that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk”, the company said.
The AZD 1222 vaccine:
The AZD1222- a COVID-19 vaccine candidate is made from the virus ChAdOx1- a weakened version of the common cold virus (adenovirus). Usually infected in chimpanzees, the virus has been genetically modified in such a way that it is impossible to infect humans.
The genetic material has been integrated into the ChAdOx1 construct, which has previously been used to make spike glycoproteins (S) belonging to the COVID-19 virus. This glycoprotein is usually found on the surface of the virus and plays an important role in the infection process. The S protein binds to the ACE2 receptors in humans and helps the virus in penetrating the host and cause infection.
When the said AZD1222 vaccine is injected, the S protein will be produced, triggering an immune response and attacking the virus, if and when it infects later. By using this method, researchers from Oxford University hope to make the host body recognize and develop a much needed immune response to the S protein will stop the virus from entering human cells and preventing infection.
The university has also signed a $750 agreement with Gavi and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) in helping them to support the manufacturing and distribution of around 300 million doses of the potential vaccine.
AstraZeneca announced that they are building a large number of supply chains to support the global access of the ADZ1222 vaccine and have been working on setting up a manufacturing unit to produce the two billion doses of said vaccine.
“We are delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low-and-middle-income countries. Over the past 50 years SII has built significant capability in vaccine manufacturing and supply globally”, said Adar Poonawala, CEO of SII.