AstraZeneca amends license deal with Chinese biotech; Chinese protein-based vaccine gets manufacturing OK
In an effort to boost the supply of its AAV Covid-19 vaccine abroad, AstraZeneca has amended its license agreement with Biokangtai to commercialize the drug in mainland China, Pakistan and Indonesia, Biokangtai announced Wednesday.
Biokangtai will market, manufacture and distribute the drug to ease the shortened supply and make the vaccine more accessible. The vaccine has been approved in 185 countries so far, the company said in a press release, but shortened supply, coupled with issues surrounding rare, but fatal, blood clots, have led vaccination numbers to stall out.
In mainland China, around 63% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Both AstraZeneca and Biokangtai revealed the license agreement at the China International Import Expo in November 2020.
AstraZeneca also has a license agreement with The Serum Institute in India, making it easier to gets doses in the arms of residents of a country that is still seeing 43,000 cases a day. That’s a stark improvement from May, when the number of daily cases hovered around the 400,000 mark, but still vulnerable, with just 12% of the population fully vaccinated. Nearly 40% have received at least one dose.
Chinese protein-based Covid-19 vaccine gets manufacturing OK
Meanwhile, Chinese biotech Clover Biopharmaceuticals announced that its subsidiary Zhejiang Clover Biopharmaceutical received a manufacturing permit to make their own protein-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate at a Changxing facility.
Clover’s end-to-end platform uses single-use technology. The facility has the capability to produce a billion doses of antigens for the Clover candidate SCB-2019, which is currently in Phase II/III trials. The company anticipates launching the candidate by the end of 2021, if granted emergency approval. If it is, it will be one of the first protein-based Covid-19 vaccines.
Using its Trimer-Tag platform, Clover has developed the vaccine using an original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The candidate combines SCB-2019 with Dynavax’s CpG 1018 and aluminum hydroxide.