(Adds details on supply agreement, background)
Sept 1 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca has expanded its
previous agreement with Oxford Biomedica to mass-produce
the British drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as it looks
to scale-up supply ahead of a possible fast-track approval from
the United States.
Gene and cell therapy firm Oxford Biomedica said on Tuesday
AstraZeneca would give it $15 million upfront to reserve
manufacturing capacity at its plant and that it could get an
additional $35 million plus other costs until the end of 2021
under the new 18-month deal.
AstraZeneca's vaccine hopeful for the novel coronavirus,
AZD1222, already among the leading candidates in the global race
for successful vaccine, moved to late stage trials in the United
States this week as the company targets 3 billion doses of the
Oxford Biomedica was among AstraZeneca's initial partners
when they teamed up in May to produce the vaccine and Tuesday's
deal could be further expanded by another year and a half into
2022 and 2023, Oxford said.
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick