- CSL Limited starts manufacturing of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘AZD1222’ in Melbourne.
- CSL to produce ~30 million doses of the AZD1222, with the first doses slated for release in H1 2021.
- The Company said that during 2020/2021 it would produce eight large-scale batches of the vaccine.
ASX 200-listed leading global biotechnology player CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) today updated the market that the Company will commence manufacturing the Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘AZD1222’ at its Melbourne facility on 9 November 2020.
The share price of CSL was noted at A$306.960, up by 1.645%, on 9 November 2020 (at AEDT 12:47 PM).
Let us discuss in detail-
About CSL Limited
Australia-based biotech behemoth CSL Limited has a dynamic portfolio of life-saving drugs. The medicines of CSL are for treatment of immune deficiencies, haemophilia, including vaccines for prevention of influenza.
Through its two businesses - CSL Behring and Seqirus, the Company offers life-saving medicines to over 100 nations.
CSL Commences Manufacturing 30 million doses of AZD1222
On 8 November 2020, CSL Limited stated that it would start manufacturing the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222 at its advanced manufacturing facility in Melbourne from 9 November.
The Company highlighted that it has separate agreements with UK-headquartered AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) as well as the government of Australia to manufacture almost 30 million doses of the vaccine candidate. CSL is planning the release of the first dose in H1 2021, awaiting the clinical trials results and regulatory approval.
Image Source: © Kalkine Group 2020
The biotechnology player added it would not distribute the vaccine until the relevant manufacturing and clinical trial data are reviewed and approved by the TGA.
The TGA has given a provisional determination to the adenovirus vector-based vaccine. Moreover, AstraZeneca will oversee the application for registration for AZD1222 on the ARTG.
It is noteworthy to mention that CSL has scheduled AZD1222 production, along with the manufacturing of UQ-CSL V451 COVID-19 vaccine candidate, at the same time maintaining commitments to produce its vital core biotherapies.
The manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccine
The process will begin with the thaw of vials comprising vaccine cells. For the integrity preservation, the cells are preserved under liquid nitrogen and need to be thawed for replication in the bioreactors at Broadmeadows facility of CSL.
After developing in the bioreactors, the COVID-19 vaccine is purified, providing a vaccine product or the antigen. The vaccine is then ready for final formulation and filling into the vials.
This vial thaw milestone follows quite a few months of collaboration and planning by technical experts of CSL and AstraZeneca.
Moreover, the Company mentioned that during 2020/2021, it would produce eight large-scale batches of COVID-19 vaccine. After the successful demonstration of the safety and efficacy of AZD1222 in trials, the Company anticipates it will require a two-dose per person regime.
CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash commented-