Doncaster firm signs £75m deal to help produce Covid-19 vaccine with Pfizer
A Doncaster chemical company has signed a £75 million deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to help produce the coronavirus vaccine.
Croda International, which has its head office at East Cowick, has entered into a $100m deal with the US firm to supply additives used in manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine, which was announced earlier this week.
Pfizer expects to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccine is in late stage of vaccine trials and could be rolled out before Christmas.
The deal with Pfizer will run for five years and award Croda an initial supply contract for four components used in the production of the vaccine for the first three years of the contract.
Commenting on the deal, Steve Foots, Chief Executive Officer, said that the company is proud to contribute in the battle to fight the most significant pandemic that we have seen in a generation.
He said: "The application of our innovative capabilities is testament to the strong progress we have made to create industry-leading drug delivery systems, focused on developing speciality excipients and adjuvants to improve the effectiveness and stability of complex drug actives and vaccines.”
On Monday, Pfizer and German firm BioNTech announced that their COVID-19 vaccine was found to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.
The deal will see Croda subsidiary Avanti Polar Lipids manufacture substances that will allow Pfizer’s vaccine to be injected into patients.
Pfizer described the results as a “great day for science and humanity”, as it released the first successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.
The drug has so far been trialled in the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey. It uses an experimental approach that involves injecting part of the virus’s genetic code to train the immune system to counter it.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS has been asked to deploy the vaccine by Christmas, providing it passes requisite health and safety tests.
“We do need to be ready should a vaccine be licensed and get through all those hurdles and ready to roll it out,” he said.