AstraZeneca Plc, a pharmaceutical giant based in the United Kingdom, on Thursday disclosed it can make 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses if the drug proves to be effective. The company's stock climbed 3.5 percent to $55.65 during morning sessions on Wall Street.
The biotech company said that it has already inked the initial phase of a deal for at least 400 million vaccines and has a total production output for one billion doses of the potential treatment the firm is working on with Oxford University. Deliveries are planned to commence in September this year, AstraZeneca revealed in a statement.
The Anglo-Swedish firm disclosed it has the capability to produce one billion doses of the drug, which is currently being administered to some 1,000 healthy volunteers in the UK as part of a clinical trials.
Through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the US government will help fund a 30,000-patient Phase 3 research of the drug this summer.
No treatments or drugs for the highly-contagious novel coronavirus has so far been approved among those being tested by pharmaceutical companies across the globe and health experts estimate an effective way of containing the virus could take 12 to 18 months.
Other vaccine manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Pfizer have been conducting their own trials to come up with the badly-needed antidote.
AstraZeneca was granted over $1 billion in US federal funding to help the drug company develop an experimental Covid-19. The investment will fast-track a race to make vaccine supplies, seen as a major push toward reopening economies around the world after pandemic-sparked lockdowns that caused unprecedented collapse in the global markets.
As this developed, the company's shares rallied 43 percent in the last two months as it joined the ranks of vaccine makers that are scrambling for a Covid-19 antidote.
Based on TipRanks figures, Wall Street market observers gave a bullish forecast on AstraZeneca stocks with solid Buy ratings. After the recent stock advance, the $57.50 average price aim carries the upside potential at almost 7 percent in the next four quarters.
The BARDA funding transpires just days after the Trump administration rolled out Operation Warp Speed, an ambitious initiative to make a Covid-19 drug widely available by end of 2020.
AstraZeneca also stated it is collaborating with institutions like World Health Organization, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi on making sure the drug will be distributed fairly as many other programs are underway, from China to Europe, drawing in well-established drugmakers, reputable schools, among others.