Drugs giant extends multimillion-pound US supply deal for COVID-19 treatments

Pascal Soriot

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has modified an existing agreement with the US Government to supply up to 500,000 additional doses of a COVID-19 treatment in a deal worth around £148m.

AstraZeneca’s AZD7442 is a long acting antibody (LAAB) combination which is in late stage development for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Today’s agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) builds on an agreement from October 2020 for the support of the late stage development of AZD7442 and for the supply of an initial 100,000 doses of the LAAB combination.

It included the option to acquire additional doses in 2021.

The company also has a separate agreement to supply the DoD with 100,000 doses, bringing potential US supplies of AZD7442 to 700,000 in 2021.

AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said: “The long acting antibody combination has the potential to offer almost immediate protection to those who are not able to be vaccinated, to both prevent infection or treat the disease in patients already infected with the virus.

“The US Government’s support is critical in helping accelerate the development of AZD7442, which we believe will be an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

AZD7442 is currently being evaluated for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in late stage trials in more than 9,000 participants around the world.

The value of the extended agreement is approximately £148.180m and is contingent on AZD7442 receiving Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorisation.

Together, the total value of current agreements with the US Government for the development and supply of AZD7442 in 2021 is about £525m.

The extended agreement is not anticipated to impact the company’s financial guidance for 2021.

AstraZeneca, which employs around 4,700 people in the North West on sites at Macclesfield and Alderley Park in Cheshire and Speke on Merseyside, developed the COVID-19 vaccine C19VAZ in collaboration with the University of Oxford.