AstraZeneca in deal with Kangtai Bio to supply potential COVID-19 vaccine in China

BEIJING, Aug 6 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca PLC has signed an exclusive framework agreement with China’s Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to supply its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in mainland China, the British pharmaceutical giant said on Thursday.

To meet market demand in China, Shenzhen Kangtai is obliged to make sure it has an annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the experimental shot AZD1222, which AstraZeneca co-developed with researchers at Oxford University, by the end of this year, and a capacity of at least 200 million doses by the end of next year, AstraZeneca said in a statement on the Chinese social media site WeChat.

The two companies will also explore the possiblity of cooperation on the vaccine candidate in other markets, AstraZeneca said.

Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey