AstraZeneca could lock in new U.S. vax production partner

June 3, 2021

With its vaccine manufacturing plans at Emergent Biosolutions’ Bayview facility out the window, AstraZeneca is looking to seal the deal with a new partner.

According to a report in the New York Times, the company is renegotiating its contract with the U.S. government to shift vaccine production for the U.S. market to Catalent. The contract manufacturer is already producing AZ’s shot, but because the company has yet to file for approval in the U.S., all of the doses are currently being made for export.

Now, there is talk of retrofitting a line at a Catalent plant in Maryland to crank out an estimated 25-35 million shots per month.

Emergent had originally been on the hook to produce a similar number of AZ shots. But after a mix-up at its Bayview facility earlier this year that involved a cross contamination between the AZ and J&J vaccines, about 15 million doses of J&J shots had to be tossed. Given the complexity of producing both shots at one facility, production for AZ vaccines was removed.