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Saturday December 04, 2021

UK announces deal to boost vaccine manufacturing capabilities

By Pa
August 04, 2020

LONDON: A new deal to boost the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities amid the Covid-19 pandemic has been struck, the government has announced.

Under the 18-month agreement, global pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Wockhardt will carry out the “fill and finish” stage of the manufacturing process. This involves dispensing the manufactured vaccine substance into vials ready for it to be distributed.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Ensuring the UK has the capability to research, develop and manufacture a safe and effective vaccine is critical in our fight against coronavirus. Today we have secured additional capacity to manufacture millions of doses of multiple Covid-19 candidates, guaranteeing the supply of vaccines we need to protect people across the UK rapidly and in large numbers.”

Wockhardt’s facility in North Wales “could start work on Covid-19 vaccines as early as September 2020”, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said. It will take place at CP Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Wockhardt, based in Wrexham which has the capacity to finish millions of coronavirus vaccine doses, it added.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “This agreement demonstrates the importance of Welsh manufacturers in the UK’s fight against coronavirus, highlighting once again the strengths of working together across the UK to combat the pandemic.

“Securing this manufacturing capacity means that safe and effective vaccines, produced in Wales, will potentially be distributed rapidly to people across the UK.”Last week, the Government signed a deal with pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier last month, the government agreed deals with BioNTech, which is working with Pfizer and Valneva for access to their vaccines.

A further agreement has been signed with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for their jab, which could produce 100 million doses for the UK.