Fangda advises AstraZeneca on licensing deal with BioKangtai to manufacture University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

Fangda has advised AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, on a licensing deal with Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co., Ltd. (“BioKangtai”), under which AstraZeneca will aim to supply the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, to China. AZD1222 is currently being developed by the University of Oxford, with whom AstraZeneca signed an agreement in April to build a number of supply chains in parallel across the world. BioKangtai has agreed to build capacity to make at least 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020 and 200 million doses per year by the end of 2021, for the China market. The two companies said that they will explore the possibility of cooperation in other regions and markets. At the moment, Phase II and III clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine are being undertaken in many countries, with the objective of testing the vaccine’s effectiveness and the safety and immune response of the vaccine for different age groups as well as inoculation rates.

Leon Wang, Executive Vice-President, International and President of AstraZeneca China, said: “We hope to leverage BioKangtai’s technology and manufacturing capability to enable the supply of AZD-1222 in China. We believe that with the cooperation of governments, international organizations, NGOs, and companies around the world, we can overcome the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to make the University of Oxford’s vaccine widely accessible around the world in an equitable manner.”

Fangda advised AstraZeneca on all aspects of the licensing deal, including providing due diligence, drafting, amendment, and translation of the framework agreement, and handling negotiation. The team was led by partner Josh Shin, supported by team members Bella Wang, Muriel He, and Jiali Yang.