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Promising COVID-19 Vaccine Production Going into Gear

June 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—Production of the most promising anti-COVID vaccine to come through clinical trials is now being ramped up, and shipped from Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, where it was developed, to Italy in the next step toward mass production.

Originally ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, and now known as AZD1222, a “seed stock” starter kit from Oxford University was shipped to the Advent firm in Italy—a division of IRBM Group—which has specialized in making quantities of experimental vaccines using adenoviruses, of which COVID-19 is one, Washington Post reporters Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli reported yesterday.

Last week, Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands struck a deal for 400 million doses of the experimental Oxford vaccine, which, if regulators approve it, would be produced by the Cambridge, U.K.-based pharmaceutical multinational AstraZeneca. That company has also made similar deals with Britain and the United States, with President Donald Trump supplying $1.2 billion in funding.

AstraZeneca has also won approval to conduct a trial in Brazil, and is seeking volunteers. Advent will produce enough vaccine for 13,000 people—a sufficient quantity to go beyond the successful early clinical trial phases.

More than 100 labs, universities, and drug companies have begun experiments on a COVID-19 vaccine, but only 11 candidate vaccines have reached the stage of clinical testing. A Chinese biotech firm has reported encouraging results in early-stage clinical trials and is also among the front-runners to crack the vaccine code.

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