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Oxford Biomedica joins Covid-19 vaccine consortium

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 08 Apr 2020

Oxford Biomedica joins Covid-19 vaccine consortium

(Sharecast News) - Gene and cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica has joined a consortium led by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, it announced on Wednesday, to rapidly develop, scale-up and manufacture a potential vaccine candidate for Covid-19, called 'ChAdOx1 nCov-19'.
The London-listed firm said the vaccine candidate was "one of the leading" vaccine candidates currently in development globally, and was expected to be the UK's first Covid-19 vaccine in clinical trials later in April.

It said the consortium was led by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, and also included the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), Pall Life Sciences, Cobra Biologics and Halix BV.

The Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group had already recruited individuals aged between 18 and 55 from the Thames Valley area, to study the vaccine's safety and efficacy.

Oxford Biomedica said it would provide access to its large scale GMP manufacturing facilities for viral vectors, including its new Oxbox facility, to the consortium as required, which - along with other consortium manufacturing partners in the UK and internationally - would allow for scaled manufacturing capacity should the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate be confirmed in clinical trials.

The Oxford vaccine candidate relied on adenoviral vector technology, 'ChAdOx1', developed at the Jenner Institute in Oxford.

It was seen as "one of the most promising" vaccine technologies for Covid-19, Ocford Biomedica claimed, as ChAdOx1 had been shown to generate a strong immune response from one dose, and had demonstrated a good safety profile in pre-clinical and clinical trials conducted to date.

No financial terms were disclosed in the announcement.

"As an established clinical and commercial manufacturer of viral vectors, we are very pleased to be in a strong position in terms of capacity and capabilities to support the important and urgent efforts of the consortium led by the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, to develop and scale up manufacturing of this promising vaccine candidate for Covid-19," said chief executive officer John Dawson.

"While our current activities on this vaccine candidate are just initiating, should the consortium confirm there is promise for this candidate in the clinical trial initiating this month, we will play our role within the consortium to scale up manufacturing as fast as possible.

"This will help to provide significant access to the vaccine candidate for further clinical trials and potentially, if approved for use, for many people in the UK and beyond."

At 1611 BST, shares in Oxford Biomedica were up 22.68% at 687p.

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