India’s Wockhardt strikes deal to supply COVID-19 vaccines to UK

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Indian drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd will supply millions of doses of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, including that being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, under a deal with the UK government announced on Monday.

Shares of Wockhardt jumped 10% after the news in a downcast Mumbai market. [.BO]

The company has reserved fill-and-finish capacity – the final manufacturing step of putting vaccines into vials or syringes and packaging them – as part of the agreement, it said.

This is the latest step by the UK to secure supplies and production of COVID-19 vaccines after striking four deals with drugmakers to buy their potential shots.

“Fill finish is a critical step in the process to get the vaccine in a form to be given to patients. The agreement with Wockhardt will boost our capability to ensure that,” Kate Bingham, chair of UK Vaccines Task Force, said in a statement.

The UK government has also reserved one fill-and-finish production line at a Wockhardt subsidiary in Wrexham, Wales for its exclusive use for the next 18 months to secure supply. It is expected to start the Wexham line in September.

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