Dietmar Hopp, the billionaire majority shareholder in CureVac (CVAC) said that the German biotech will likely not be first in the global race to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, but that it plans to have more than 100 million doses available by the end of this year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce a deal in which he has secured 84 million Covid-19 vaccines depending on the results of a clinical trial coming out of the UK.
Upon completion of successful clinical trials, CSL expects the first tranche of doses to be available by mid-2021. To date it has generated strong immune responses, with no significant safety concerns.
UQ has recently announced that pre-clinical testing showed the vaccine is promising and already effective in animal models.
The company also said it had agreed with the Australian government to manufacture an alternative potential vaccine it is developing with the University of Queensland (UQ), with first doses of that vaccine expected by mid-2021.
Morrison is also committed to ensuring early access to the vaccines for Australia's neighbouring Pacific nations as well as regional partners in south-east Asia.
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The company said that the vaccine had evoked neutralizing antibodies, which according to researchers are a key factor in gaining immunity to the virus, within the hamsters that were given the vaccine. 'However the agreement puts Australia at the top of the queue, if our medical experts give the vaccines the green light'.
Expanding Australia's COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Readiness The Australian Government will provide funding to support CSL's readiness to manufacture AZD1222, thus expanding Australia's on-shore COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capabilities.
Curevac is likely to be beaten to market by US rival Moderna and Germany's Biontech, billionaire backer Dietmar Hopp said earlier.
Australians will only need to take one of the successful vaccine candidates, with an initial dose followed by a booster dose of the same vaccine within weeks.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said it would not be mandatory but the government wanted to see as broad coverage of the population as possible.
University of Queensland - CSL vaccine candidate (V451) Agreement with Australian Government: The total number of vaccines ordered by the Government is based on a two dose per person regime.