Coronavirus: Drug giant AstraZeneca urged to make vaccine patent-free

Exclusive: AstraZeneca criticised after dismissing WHO initiative to share trial data and intellectual property rights for potential Covid-19 vaccines, writes Samuel Lovett

Tuesday 02 June 2020 18:09 BST
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AstraZeneca has already received orders from the UK and US governments for its vaccine candidate
AstraZeneca has already received orders from the UK and US governments for its vaccine candidate

Campaigners have urged AstraZeneca to disclose its plans to develop a coronavirus vaccine and guarantee that it will be patent-free, after a number of pharmaceutical giants snubbed the scheme set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to share trial data and intellectual property (IP) rights.

AstraZeneca first teamed up with Oxford University in April to produce and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, before announcing last week that it had partnered with British cell-therapy company Oxford Biomedica to bolster its manufacturing capacity to produce 1 billion doses.

The Cambridge-based pharmaceutical group, whose market value has surged over the past month, has already received orders from the UK and US governments for its vaccine candidate, called AZD1222.

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