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Oxford Biomedica joins forces with UK's Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre to scale up production of Oxford Uni's COVID-19 vaccine

Published on 08/06/20 at 11:39am

Oxford Biomedica has forged a five-year partnership with the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) to work together to provide manufacturing capacity for viral vector vaccines, particularly to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Both organisations form part of the manufacturing consortium established by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, an effort designed to scale up and deliver manufacturing capacity for the University’s COVID-19 candidate AZD1222, which is currently undergoing clinical evaluation with help from AstraZeneca for prevention of the virus. This latest partnership will focus primarily making this candidate accessible to all who need it.

It marks the first such collaboration for VMIC, a non-profit organisation designed to deliver ramped up production of vaccine doses once an effective candidate has been found.

Under the terms of the partnership, VMIC will contribute to the capacity of two new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities with specialist manufacturing equipment, while Oxford Biomedica will contribute training and technical support to VMIC staff. This work will commence this summer, while permanent site at Harwell Campus just south of Oxford is projected to open in mid-2021, with the capacity to generate 70 million doses of a vaccine in four to six months.

“This collaboration with Oxford Biomedica means that we can increase the UK’s capacity to manufacture viral vector vaccines in 2020 as part of a national effort in response to COVID-19,” commented VMIC CEO Matthew Duchars. “This marks a major milestone for VMIC in setting up collaborative partnerships with industry. It is the first agreement outside of our founding partners under VMIC’s longer term objective to work with, and enhance, the vaccine industry in the UK and abroad.”  

Oxford Biomedica CEO John Dawson also commented on the partnership: “Since we became involved in addressing the urgent need for UK manufacturing capacity for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222, we have strived to support VMIC’s broader goal of accelerating and supporting UK manufacturing capacity and capabilities for vaccines more generally. This highly collaborative partnership allows for a rapid deployment capability to be established, and also accelerates fit out and utilisation of another two GMP manufacturing suites within our new commercial manufacturing facility, Oxbox.”

Matt Fellows

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