AstraZeneca advances response to COVID-19 outbreak
https://www.investegate.co.uk/astrazene ... 00105972N/
AstraZeneca is advancing its ongoing response to address the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, collaborating with a number of countries and multilateral organisations to make the University of Oxford's vaccine widely accessible around the world in an equitable manner.
The Company has concluded the first agreements for at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far and will begin first deliveries in September 2020. AstraZeneca aims to conclude further agreements supported by several parallel supply chains, which will expand capacity further over the next months to ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine.
AstraZeneca today received support of more than $1bn from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the fall. The development programme includes a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial.
It all sounds marvellous but if you read on, the picture is not quite so rosy, e.g.:
"A Phase I/II clinical trial of AZD1222 began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years across several trial centres in southern England. Data from the trial is expected shortly which, if positive, would lead to late-stage trials in a number of countries. AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk."
Full marks for getting the arrangements in place, though at governments' expense it would seem. I am a little confused about whether they are going to manufacture and distribute all these vaccine doses before they know whether it works or not but it sounds as though that is the plan.
As regards the financial implications for AZN, they are saying their guidance has not changed (I haven't checked what that was as yet) but I seem to remember their saying their work in this connection was being done on a not for profit basis. The s.p. has continued risen quite a lot since March (down around 2% today but so is the FTSE), unlike that of most companies, but with a p/e ratio of 105.50 is probably up with, if not ahead of, events. What do others think after reading the full RNS? I am still debating whether to bed and ISA my non-ISA holding. In most cases when I have done this, e.g. Marston's and Greggs, the s.p. has subsequently plummeted.