At the end of April, AstraZeneca joined forces with Oxford University to develop, produce and distribute the drug designed by the university, if successful. According to the university, the drug is currently in the human-trials, and they will have promising results by fall.
The drug manufacturer has just been supported by the U.S. Government with $1 billion to speed up the developing process. By this agreement, the U.S.A should have 300 million doses of vaccine available. The first batch should be available for delivery in October. On top of that, AstraZeneca must conduct a Phase 3 trial in the States on 30,000 volunteers this summer. The funding is part of the "Operation Warp Speed" initiative. Through this program, the U.S. showed its support to Moderna, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson, in their efforts to find a vaccine against the novel virus.
The U.K. will be the one who will have access to the vaccine and has already secured 30 million doses for September. Those will be the first out of 100 million. The company has been funded two times by the British government with 47 million pounds and another 84 million approved this past Sunday.
AstraZeneca works on two fronts regarding the vaccine, as it has a 7.7% stake in biotech company Moderna, whose own vaccine showed promising results. Given the fact that Moderna’s stock has increased 275% this year, AstraZeneca’s market cap exceeds $2 billion.
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Sources: marketwatch.com, theguardian.com, edition.cnn.com