Symbiosis to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine for clinical trials

Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services has signed a supply agreement with AstraZeneca for sterile manufacture of the COVID-19 recombinant adenovirus vaccine known as AZD1222 for AstraZeneca sponsored clinical trials.

Under the agreement, Symbiosis will provide AstraZeneca fast-track access to sterile vaccine drug product manufacturing capacity for clinical trial supply.

The agreement follows AstraZeneca’s recent announcement of a licensing agreement with the University of Oxford for the global development, manufacturing, and distribution of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The vaccine candidate is currently in clinical trials at multiple sites in the UK.

Colin MacKay, founder and CEO of Symbiosis commented: “Our team is immensely proud to be able to make a highly meaningful contribution to the global fight against COVID-19 and the urgent efforts to develop a successful vaccine.

“With many years of direct experience manufacturing medicines and vaccines of this nature for clinical trials and commercial markets, we are delighted to be able to leverage our expertise and competitive strengths to accelerate the development of this vaccine for AstraZeneca and to add value to the project.”

Scottish government Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said: “It is fantastic to see the continued success of Symbiosis in Scotland, and I applaud the vital work they are undertaking.

“Symbiosis’ collaboration with AstraZeneca is a great example of how Scotland’s world-leading life sciences sector is working with partners across the globe to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Our life science sector has long been at the forefront of innovation and pioneering medical treatments, and we will continue to support the industry as we work together to tackle coronavirus.”

Symbiosis has several specialist manufacturing capabilities. Its service has enabled the company to build a global client base and employ 100 highly qualified staff from its headquarters in Stirling.

Chief Executive of Stirling Council, Carol Beattie, said: “This is a monumental moment in the global fight against Coronavirus, and I’m incredibly proud this vaccine will be produced here; it underlines the home grown, world class talent and research ability available in Stirling in the life sciences and manufacturing sectors, which span all stages from novel start-up to internationally acclaimed, high growth businesses such as Symbiosis.”

Linda Hanna, Managing Director of Scottish Enterprise also added: “This agreement with AstraZeneca is a fantastic endorsement of Symbiosis’ capabilities, and highlights Scotland’s globally renowned reputation for life sciences and manufacturing. We’ve worked with Colin and his team for many years, and look forward to following their progress in helping develop a vaccine for the global pandemic.”

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