Baar, 16 October 2020 – AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with the Swiss and Swedish Governments to supply up to 5.3 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 to Switzerland, should ongoing trials prove successful and subsequent to approval from regulators.
On the basis of the existing agreement between AstraZeneca and the European Commission, Sweden will order the vaccine on behalf of Switzerland, with delivery being made directly by AstraZeneca. This will give Switzerland access to the vaccine in an equitable manner at no profit during the pandemic.
This agreement will ensure that Switzerland has timely access to this investigational vaccine against COVID-19, should clinical trials prove its efficacy and tolerability and following regulatory approval from Swissmedic. With our European supply chain in place, our expectation is that we will be able to make the vaccine available rapidly. I would like to thank the Swiss and Swedish Governments for the constructive dialogue that has helped make this important agreement possible.
Clinical development of AZD1222 is progressing globally with late-stage trials that will eventually enroll up to 50,000 participants. Results from these late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the clinical trial communities.
At the beginning of October, Swissmedic initiated its scientific review of AZD1222, within a rolling submission process. This process starts with the evaluation of the existing pre-clinical data from studies conducted by University of Oxford and will continue with the review of data from ongoing pre-clinical studies and clinical trials as they become available, as well as data regarding the quality control of the vaccine. The Company’s submissions for market authorisation will meet the stringent requirements established by regulators around the world.
AstraZeneca continues to engage with governments, multilateral organisations and partners around the world to ensure broad and equitable access to the vaccine, should clinical trials prove successful, and regulators approve its use.
AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
AstraZeneca in Switzerland
AstraZeneca has 120 employees who are responsible for coordinating business operations in Switzerland. Our site in Baar is also the headquarters of the Europe & Canada Commercial Regional Team and the Europe & International Oncology Team, which employ a further 40 staff in Switzerland. Our primary therapeutic areas are Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. To meet our climate goals ahead of schedule, we are working tirelessly to further reduce CO2 emissions and waste. As part of our Ambition Zero Carbon strategy, we are transitioning to a carbon-free business operation by taking steps to reduce and ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, AstraZeneca Switzerland was recognized by its employees for the third time as an outstanding employer, and was awarded the external “Great place to work®” certification.
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AstraZeneca Switzerland Media Department
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Dr. Angelika März, Corporate Affairs Lead
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