Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services, a specialist provider of pharmaceutical and vaccine development services, has announced it has signed a supply agreement with AstraZeneca for sterile manufacture of the Covid-19 recombinant adenovirus vaccine known as AZD1222 for AstraZeneca sponsored clinical trials. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, including India, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
Symbiosis has several specialist manufacturing capabilities, making the service offering of the Scotland-based company currently unique in the UK. Its service offering has enabled the company to build a global client base and employ 100 highly qualified staff from its headquarters in Stirling.
Under the agreement, Symbiosis will provide AstraZeneca fast-track access to sterile vaccine drug manufacturing for clinical trial supply. The agreement follows AstraZeneca’s recent announcement of a licensing agreement with the University of Oxford for the global development, manufacturing, and distribution of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The vaccine candidate is currently in clinical trials at multiple sites in the UK.
Colin MacKay, founder and chief executive officer of Symbiosis, commented, “Our team is immensely proud to make a highly meaningful contribution to the global fight against Covid-19 and the urgent efforts to develop a successful vaccine. With many years of direct experience manufacturing medicines and vaccines of this nature for clinical trials and commercial markets, we are delighted to be able to leverage our expertise and competitive strengths to accelerate the development of this vaccine for AstraZeneca and to add value to the project.”
Scottish Government minister for Trade, Investment, and Innovation Ivan McKee said, “It is fantastic to see the continued success of Symbiosis in Scotland. I applaud the vital work they are undertaking.
“Symbiosis’ collaboration with AstraZeneca is a great example of how Scotland’s world-leading life sciences sector is working with partners across the globe to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Our life science sector has long been at the forefront of innovation and pioneering medical treatments. We will continue to support the industry as we work together to tackle coronavirus.”
Chief executive of Stirling Council, Carol Beattie, said, “This is a monumental moment in the global fight against coronavirus, and I’m incredibly proud this vaccine will be produced here. It underlines the homegrown, world-class talent and research ability available in Stirling in the life sciences and manufacturing sectors, which span all stages from novel start-up to internationally acclaimed, high growth businesses such as Symbiosis.”
Linda Hanna, managing director of Scottish Enterprise, also added, “This agreement with AstraZeneca is a fantastic endorsement of Symbiosis’ capabilities, and highlights Scotland’s globally renowned reputation for life sciences and manufacturing. We’ve worked with Colin and his team for many years, and I look forward to following their progress in helping develop a vaccine for the global pandemic.”