CSL to produce over 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Australia

CSL said that it signed agreements with the Australian government to supply over 80 million doses of two potential COVID-19 vaccines, with possible shipments beginning in early 2021. The deals cover AZD1222, which is being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, as well as the University of Queensland's UQ-CSL V451.

According to CSL, it has agreed with AstraZeneca to manufacture 33.8 million doses of the recombinant vector-based vaccine AZD1222, with the first 3.8 million doses planned for release to Australia in January and February next year. The company noted that the Australian government will provide funding to support CSL's readiness to manufacture AZD1222, thus expanding the country's on-shore COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capabilities.

Meanwhile, CSL said it will supply 51 million doses of the "molecular clamp"-enabled UQ-CSL V451 vaccine, with the first doses scheduled for release from mid-2021 following successful clinical trials. The vaccine is currently in Phase I development, after which CSL will take full responsibility for the subsequent Phase IIb/III trial, which is expected to commence in late 2020. CSL noted that the total number of vaccines ordered by the Australian government is based on a two-dose per person regime.

Paul Perreault, chief executive of CSL, said the company "has been working at pace to respond to the pandemic and has invested significant resources in the rapid development and large-scale manufacture of UQ-CSL V451." Earlier this year, CSL entered into a partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate the development of UQ-CSL V451, which utilises MF59 adjuvant technology from the drugmaker's Seqirus unit.

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