May 28 (UPI) -- AstraZeneca reached a deal with British gene and cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica on Thursday to produce its potential vaccine for COVID-19.
Under the agreement, Oxford Biomedica announced it will give AstraZeneca access to its manufacturing center and produce multiple batches of the vaccine candidate, known as AZD1222, this year.
"We are proud to be a part of this manufacturing consortium working with the Jenner Institute at University of Oxford, for the early manufacturing and scale up of this viral vector based candidate for COVID-19," Oxford Biomedica CEO John Dawson said.
Last week, the United States pledged $1 billion to AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine candidate.
AstraZeneca plans to produce at least 400 million doses of the vaccine and has lined up manufacturing capacity for 1 billion doses with first deliveries scheduled for September.
AZD1222 began Phase I/II clinical trials last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in more than 1,000 British volunteers last month and is set to enter more advanced trials in June.