Halix B.V. & AstraZeneca Collab On UK’s COVID-19 Vaccine
, a fast-growing biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), based out of the Netherlands, recently announced that their signature has been placed on the dotted line of an agreement with , the British drugmaker, for the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by the British firm and the University of Oxford.
As part of the agreement, it has been said that Halix will manufacture the vaccine, named AZD1222, at a facility in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the company didn’t release any further detail on the contract itself, so we’re unable to analyse or scrutinise it today.
What we can say, however, is that while the world’s leading research bodies and scientists race to find the solution to COVID-19, around three billion doses of the vaccine could be available next year, globally, according to the Director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, Adrian Hill. Which sounds great. However, AstraZeneca released some data on the 23rd November which dampens the mood a little ─ trials of the vaccine in Britain and Brazil showed a vastly divergent performance when it was tested in two different dose combinations. This suggests that the vaccine isn’t quite as effective as we might hope, and has even led to calls for a better vaccine to be manufactured and distributed among the masses.
As it stands, Britain started to roll out the mass inoculation of its population against the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, on Tuesday, after it became the first Western country to approve a coronavirus vaccine last week. It has been suggested that the country could also approve AstraZeneca’s vaccine within the next two weeks, strengthening its arsenal against the virus.
What’s the Delay?
Currently, the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company Vaccitech, is in global Phase 3 trials with rolling reviews from regulators such as the European Medicines Agency and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. As such, it isn’t quite available to the British population, but it shouldn’t be too far away.
Halix will be responsible for large-scale commercial drug substance manufacture of AZD1222, the adenovirus vector-based Covid-19 vaccine. Under the agreement, it will provide commercial manufacturing of drug substance at its cGMP facility at the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands. To meet the increased demand, Halix plans to expand with two additional viral vector production lines.
Alex Huybens, Chief Operations Officer, at Halix B.V. said: “Building on the solid foundations made with the University of Oxford, it’s our pleasure to expand our manufacturing support of AZD1222 with AstraZeneca. Through the consortium, the partners are bringing their collective expertise and manufacturing capabilities to support vaccine production and combat this evolving crisis.”
Canoo Awards Manufacturing Contract to VDL Nedcar
Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans that will ensure the company manages to deliver on its promise to consumers of production and delivery of vehicles in Q4, 2022.
During the company’s first Investor Relations Day, Chairman & CEO of Canoo, Tony Aquila, named VDL Nedcar as its contract manufacturing partner. VDL Nedcar, which I’m sure many of you will already have heard of, is the only independent Vehicle Contract Manufacturer in the Netherlands and has enjoyed fifty years of growth under owners, including Mitsubishi Motors and Volvo cars. According to the report, Nedcar will manufacture the Lifestyle Vehicle for the United States and European Union markets, while Canoo builds a US-based mega micro-factory.
"We conducted an exhaustive search, invested significant amounts of time and resources that span the globe, in our search for our Phase 1 contract manufacturer. VDL Nedcar is the right partner," said Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, Inc. "They are the top trusted European manufacturer building high-quality products for leading OEMs, and they significantly outcompeted the other contenders. VDL is also independently owned by the van der Leegte family of entrepreneurs - which aligns with our commitment to support businesses that form the backbone of communities. This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Groep of companies. Our investment will help us scale quickly and fulfil our mission to bring affordable, purpose-built EVs to Everyone."
Canoo and VDL have already gotten to work on vehicle manufacturability and production planning so that Canoo can successfully lay the groundwork for its upcoming US manufacturing operations expansion, which will be completed in Oklahoma in 2022. The Nedcar facility currently expected to produce around 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022, with an additional 15000 targeted for the following year.
"Canoo's bold approach to designing and building electric vehicles makes them an ideal partner as we work together to shape the future of mobility," said John van Soerland, CEO of VDL Nedcar. "This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena."
Currently, Canoo is entering its GAMMA phase of development and is on track to start production soon. The company intends and expects to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle in Q4 2022, closely followed by the Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle and Pickup Truck.
Watch this space.