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AstraZeneca to mass produce potential coronavirus vaccine
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(Reuters) – Britain's AstraZeneca joined forces with the University of Oxford on Thursday to help develop, produce and distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine, as drugmakers around the world race to find a solution to the deadly disease.
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma welcomed the tie-up as a vital step to making the Oxford vaccine available as soon as possible if it succeeds in clinical trials.
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A team of British scientists last week dosed the first volunteers, and earlier this month said large-scale production capacity was being put in place to make millions of doses even before trials show whether it is effective.
Only a handful of the vaccines in development have advanced to human trials, an indicator of safety and efficacy – and the stage where most vaccines fail.
“Our hope is that, by joining forces, we can accelerate the globalisation of a vaccine to combat the virus and protect people from the deadliest pandemic in a generation,” AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.