First UK COVID-19 vaccine to be manufactured in Wales
3 Aug 2020
Wockhardt, the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology major today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the UK Government to fill finish COVID-19 vaccines. The manufacturing will be undertaken at CP Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Wockhardt based in Wrexham, North Wales.
As per the terms of the agreement the company has reserved manufacturing capacity to allow for the supply of multiple vaccines to the UK Government in its fight against COVID-19, including AZD1222, the vaccine co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech, and licensed by AstraZeneca.
Dr Habil Khorakiwala, Founder Chairman of Wockhardt emphasised, “The pandemic of COVID-19 is a challenge for all and needs a concerted effort to overcome. We are proud to be collaborating with the UK Government to make vaccines available and the arrangement brings in a huge sense of purpose and pride, it upholds our ongoing commitment to fight against such a pandemic of global human importance. As a global organisation, we are focussed and committed to assist in mitigating the worldwide impact of COVID-19.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said, “Ensuring the UK has the capability to research, develop and manufacture a safe and effective vaccine is critical in our fight against coronavirus.
“Today we have secured additional capacity to manufacture millions of doses of multiple Covid-19 candidates, guaranteeing the supply of vaccines we need to protect people across the UK rapidly and in large numbers.”
Speaking about the contract Ravi Limaye, Managing Director Wockhardt UK said, “We are immensely proud to have been selected to partner with the UK Government on this project. In doing so we are taking a lead role in the nation’s fight against pandemic of COVID-19.
“We have a sophisticated sterile manufacturing facility and a highly skilled workforce. We expect to start delivering the first doses of the vaccine later this year.” He added.
The government has reserved one fill and finish production line for its exclusive use for the next 18 months in order to guarantee the supply of vaccines required to fight COVID-19 in the UK.
Dr Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director and Global CEO of Wockhardt adds, “The arrangement with the UK Government for manufacturing vaccines for COVID-19 showcases our global strength in world class sterile injectable facilities and capacity. With four decades of expertise and experience behind us we are able to quickly scale to manufacture and assist in mitigating the worldwide impact of COVID-19.”
Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce said, “Never before have we needed to find and manufacture a vaccine at this speed and scale in order to protect the UK population. We have made significant progress in securing a diverse portfolio of potential vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, adding a fourth vaccine candidate from GSK and Sanofi last week. However, discovering a successful vaccine is only part of the solution, we also need to be able to manufacture it. Fill Finish is a critical step in the process to get the vaccine in a form to be given to patients. The agreement with Wockhardt will boost our capability to ensure that from the moment a successful vaccine is identified we will be able to produce the quantities of vaccine required, as quickly as possible, for the people who need it.”
Wockhardt is a global pharmaceutical and biotech organisation that brings affordable, high quality medicines to market. In the UK, Wockhardt is one of the largest suppliers into the NHS for over 20 years, has had a presence in Wrexham for over two decades and employs over 400 people at its 612,000 square feet high-tech manufacturing facility.
Wockhardt is a research based global pharmaceutical and biotech company headquartered in Mumbai, India. Wockhardt’s New Drug Discovery programme has focussed on the unmet need of making anti-bacterial drugs effective in mitigating untreatable superbugs. Wockhardt is the only company in the world that has received QIDP Status (Qualified Infectious Diseases Programme) from the US FDA for six anti-bacterial discovery programmes – three of them are Gram Negative and three Gram Positive and are effective against untreatable 'Superbugs'. Wockhardt has a dedicated and experienced Drug Discovery team as part of its clinical research organisation.