By David Winning 
 

SYDNEY--CSL Ltd., Australia's largest pharmaceutical company, said it had signed initial deals for the supply of vaccines against the novel coronavirus if they successfully complete clinical trials.

CSL said a heads of agreement with the Australian government covers 51 million doses of a vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland. Supply could begin around the middle of next year, the company said.

Production of the vaccine to support late-stage clinical trials is underway at CSL's biotech manufacturing facilities in Broadmeadows, a suburb of Melbourne.

CSL said results from pre-clinical and early clinical studies for the vaccine, known as UQ-CSL V451, are promising. The University of Queensland is currently undertaking a Phase 1 clinical study to assess the vaccine candidate's safety and immunogenicity in healthy volunteers.

"Should the Phase 1 study prove to be successful toward the end of this year, CSL will take full responsibility for the subsequent Phase 2b/3 clinical trial, which is expected to commence in late 2020," CSL said.

CSL added it has a separate heads of agreement with AstraZeneca PLC to manufacture around 30 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate being developed by Oxford University, with the first doses scheduled for release early next year if it's successful in clinical trials.

The Australian government will offer funds to support CSL's ability to manufacture AZD1222, the company added.

"We are pleased that we can produce the AZD1222 without compromising the production of our core products--influenza vaccines and plasma and recombinant protein therapies--and provide a second option for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate to Australia," CSL Chief Executive Paul Perreault said.

 

Write to David Winning at david.winning@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2020 18:51 ET (22:51 GMT)

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