China's Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products said on Tuesday it had completed a facility designed to be able to produce 400 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine per year, doubling a capacity target promised in 2020. "Kangtai is actively pushing forward procedures for the vaccine's clinical trial and registration in China, and has completed a manufacturing plant and started trial production," the Shenzhen-based firm said in a press release.
The firm obtained rights to supply the AZD1222 vaccine, developed by the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker and Oxford University, in mainland China last year in return for having capacity to produce at least 200 million doses by the end of 2021. The vaccine might be approved for use in China by mid-2021 after gathering safety data from Phase I and II trials in China and efficacy data from late-stage trials overseas, Leon Wang, head of AstraZeneca's China operation, said in November.
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