The Cyprus-born EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety announced Thursday the EU’s first vaccine deal, reached with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, for a quantity of up to 400 million doses of the vaccine under development.
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Kyriakidou tweeted news of the EU’s first vaccine contract for up to 400 million potential doses of the vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca, pending the safety approval of the EU Medicines Agency.
The deal, Kyriakidou said, is “a milestone in our commitment to finding a sustainable solution to the crisis for all.”
She added that the contract signed “is a clear signal of EU solidarity in action for the benefit of citizens everywhere,” acknowledging that the deal could not have been reached without the important groundwork laid by Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The contract will allow the purchase of a vaccine against COVID-19 for all the Member States of the EU as well as the donation to lower and middle income countries or the re-direction to other European countries.
According to the European Commission, similar agreements are being discussed with other vaccine manufacturers, while successful exploratory talks were concluded with Sanofi-GSK on July 31, Johnson & Johnson on August 13, CureVac on August 18 and Moderna on August 24.
The contract with AstraZeneca is an important step in the implementation of the European Vaccines Strategy, adopted by the Commission on June 17. This strategy aims to secure for all European citizens high-quality, safe, effective and affordable vaccines within 12 to 18 months.
On its part, Cyprus has informed the EU that it will be needing 1 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, with the figure including the Turkish Cypriot community.
AstraZeneca launches early-stage trials
The British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca launched earlier this week a Phase 1 clinical trial of an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19, Reuters reported.
The UK-based early-stage study is expected to evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), was safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.
Should the vaccine prove safe, AstraZeneca said it would proceed to test it as both a preventative treatment for coronavirus and a medicine for patients who have it, in larger, mid-to-late-stage studies.