China-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products will produce Cambridge headquartered AstraZeneca Plc’s potential COVID-19 vaccine in mainland China, the British drugmaker confirms on Thursday, clearly its first deal to supply one of the world’s most populous countries.
Notably, Shenzhen Kangtai will ensure it has an annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the experimental shot AZD1222 to meet market demand in China. According to the British drugmaker, AZD1222 is co-developed by AstraZeneca with researchers at Oxford University, by the end of this year.
Reportedly, company releases a statement in China that, It must have the capacity to produce at least 200 million doses by the end of next year as part of the exclusive framework agreement.
Interestingly, both of these companies will also explore the possibility of cooperation on the vaccine candidate in other markets, AstraZeneca said.
There are no approved vaccines for COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has said AstraZeneca’s shot is one of the leading candidates.
The company has signed manufacturing deals globally to meet its target of making 2 billion doses of the vaccine.