Leaders at Oxford University have paved the way towards Oxford’s goal of global, rapid and equitable access to a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine by facilitating an innovative public-private agreement for the manufacture and distribution of Oxford’s vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.
With COVID-19 accelerating at an unprecedented rate and all eyes on a prospective vaccine, the Oxford Vaccine Group, the team behind Oxford’s front-running COVID-19 vaccine, teamed up with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to make the vaccine globally available and scale-up production.
Should Oxford’s vaccine trials prove successful, multiple manufacturing and distribution centres are needed throughout the world to ensure the prompt delivery of mass vaccination programmes.
Leading Thai company SCG are the one of the largest external industry funders of the MPLS division, funding projects at SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence (CoE) from the development of flexible barrier coating for recyclable food packaging to the conversion of CO2 into renewable fuels.
In a bid to aid the global recovery from this pandemic, at SCG’s request, Professor Dermot O’Hare, Director, CoE, together with the help and support of Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine and Dr Phil Clare, Deputy Director, Research Services convened a series of meetings with SCG and the broader Oxford University community. The result is a partnership between SCG, the Government of Thailand, AstraZeneca, and Siam Bioscience to manufacture the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Thailand for potential distribution across South East Asia
On 12 October 2020, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, AstraZeneca, Siam Bioscience and SCG agreed to work together to prepare the large scale manufacture and supply of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine for supply in South East Asia. AstraZeneca is providing the potential vaccine at no profit during the pandemic and through technology transfer from SCG will work with Siam Bioscience to set up the manufacturing facilities in Thailand. If the vaccine is successful, Thailand will receive doses with the aim of commencing the vaccination of the Thai population in the first half of 2021.
The Letter of Intent makes important progress towards Oxford’s global goal of rapid and equitable access to its vaccine for COVID-19 – as it provides a framework for the establishment of similar partnerships around the world and illustrates how Oxford can be a nexus for tackling global crises.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Ambassador Brian Davidson said
Defeating COVID-19 is - and needs to be - a global endeavour. The work of scientists, multilaterals and business as well as governments. It is a pleasure to witness the start of this critical partnership between Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, Siam BioScience, SCG and AstraZeneca.
Mr Roongrote Rangsiyopash, SCG President and CEO, said “SCG is delighted to help facilitate this critical technology transfer. SCG and Oxford University have been research and development partners for a long time. This partnership has enabled acceleration of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing in Thailand and distribution of the vaccine to both Thailand and our neighbouring countries. SCG would like to thank the vaccine team at AstraZeneca for being a collaborative partner throughout the process.”
Ms. Jo Feng, Senior Vice President, Asia Area at AstraZeneca said
Broad, equitable and timely access is critical to the success of any COVID-19 vaccine. Today is an important step toward that goal. Public-private partnerships like this are the only way to halt this pandemic and we look forward to deepening our collaboration in the interest of public health.