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4 September, 2021 - 16:00 By Tony Quested

AstraZeneca settles legal battle with EC

AstraZeneca and the European Commission have reached an agreement that ends legal proceedings over the execution of the advance purchase agreement for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria (ChAdOx1-S).

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca commits to deliver 60 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the third quarter 2021, 75 million by the end of the fourth quarter 2021 and 65 million by the end of the first quarter 2022. Member States will be provided with regular delivery schedules and capped rebates will apply in the event of any delayed doses.

Ruud Dobber, executive VP, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, AstraZeneca, said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to reach a common understanding which allows us to move forward and work in collaboration with the European Commission to help overcome the pandemic.

“We are fully committed to manufacture Vaxzevria for Europe following the release for supply of more than 140 million doses to date at no profit. We are also looking forward to working with the European Commission in a joint effort to further support COVAX.”

Legal proceedings by the European Commission against AstraZeneca were initiated in Brussels in April. Court hearings were scheduled at end of September.

To date, AstraZeneca and its partners have supplied more than 1.1 billion doses of vaccine to over 170 countries; approximately two thirds have gone to low and lower middle-income countries.

In clinical trials, Vaxzevria demonstrated 100 per cent efficacy against severe disease and hospitalisation after two doses. Real-world evidence shows the vaccine is around 90 per cent or higher effective against WHO-identified variants of concern.

Vaxzevria has been shown to be generally well tolerated. Incidents of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) have been reported in a small number of people. 

Early diagnosis allows appropriate treatment of these events and there is no elevation of the risk of TTS at the second dose, compared to the rates expected in the general population.

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