AstraZeneca has signed a £50 million ($67 million) deal to produce tens of millions of additional doses of the vaccine it is developing in partnership with Oxford University.
The supply deal was signed with local biotech company Oxford Biomedica, and will provide a significant boost to AstraZeneca’s vaccine-manufacturing capacity.
The news of the deal came as the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant announced that it was commencing its final human trials to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
On Monday, AstraZeneca said it would be testing the inoculation on 50,000 people, 30,000 of whom are in the US.
If the trials are successful, it said it may have approval from US regulators by October for emergency use of the vaccine.
The global race to develop a safe and effective vaccine is entering its late stages, and a number of countries worldwide are closing in on being the first to roll out a vaccine en-masse.