Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca in talks to shift COVID-19 vaccine production to Catalent factory - NYT

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A vial labelled with the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

June 2 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) is in talks with the U.S. government to shift production of its COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore plant to a factory owned by Catalent Inc (CTLT.N), the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The British drugmaker has been on the lookout for an alternative production site since the U.S. government stopped it from using Emergent BioSolutions Inc's (EBS.N) Baltimore plant after workers accidentally contaminated a batch of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) vaccine with ingredients from AstraZeneca's that was also being produced at the time.

AstraZeneca's vaccine, approved in dozens of countries except United States, has been under increased scrutiny over reports of extremely rare but serious blood clots in the brain in some people who received the vaccine.

New Jersey-based Catalent will make use of its factory in Maryland where it already produces drug substance used in AstraZeneca's vaccine, the NYT report said on Wednesday. (https://nyti.ms/3uNHD3E)

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment, and Catalent declined to comment.

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Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru

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