The two suites, operated by Oxford Biomedica and located in Oxford, will become operational this month and will act as a rapid deployment centre ahead of the opening of a permanent VMIC facility next year.
The first COVID-19 vaccine lined up for production at the centre will be AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate: which is currently in a Phase 3 trial in the UK.
Four months from start to approval
The two 1000L scale manufacturing suites aim to rapidly build capability in the UK to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. With the first suite having been approved by the MHRA last month and the second this week, the facility now has the ability to make tens of millions of doses.
Development of the suites started after an agreement made in June between VMIC – a not-for-profit organisation established to provide the UK’s first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing capability – and gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica. Four months later the suites have been approved by the UK’s MHRA – a testament to hard work and collaboration, according to the partners.
Dr Matthew Duchars, Chief Executive, VMIC, said: “This is a milestone moment in the UK’s fight against COVID-19. These suites, which house VMIC equipment, will have the ability to make tens of millions of doses of the current leading vaccine candidate.
“The approval from the MHRA is testament to the hard work and dedication of teams across VMIC, Oxford Biomedica and all the partners working with us on this vital project.”