Covid-19 roundup: Flush with $486M contract, AstraZeneca signs Lonza up to manufacture antibodies; BioNTech’s Ugur Sahin expects vaccine data ‘in a fortnight’

Days after scoring a $486 million BARDA contract to develop and manufacture its long-acting antibody combo for Covid-19, AstraZeneca has tapped Lonza to produce the drug substance at its mid-scale facility in Portsmouth, NH.

The drug, dubbed AZD7442, puts together two antibodies, first discovered by scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, derived from convalescent patients who recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. AstraZeneca licensed them in June and has since further engineered them with half-life extension and reduced Fc receptor binding.

As a result, the pharma giant has said the therapy should last six to 12 months after

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