AstraZeneca has received partial immunity from the EU in a vaccine deal. The EU has already paid €336 million at €2.5 per dose.
AstraZeneca Plc (LON: AZN) has received partial immunity from the European government over its potential vaccine deal. Compared to French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA (NASDAQ: SNY), AstraZeneca’s vaccine is relatively cheap, allowing the European Union to grant liability immunity.
Many pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Sanofi, have been working on a vaccine for the persisting coronavirus. Considering the speed at which the companies are making efforts to produce effective vaccines, this increases unexpected side effects.
AstraZeneca and the European Union Vaccine Deal
Earlier this month, AstraZeneca announced the resumption of the phase 3 trials for its vaccine candidate. As there are continuous efforts on manufacturing a vaccine, the British pharmaceutical company has secured backing from the European Union in a confidential agreement that offers the drugmaker a liability waiver.
In addition to the agreements under the deal, European Union countries would be paying $2.92 (2.5 euros) per dose for AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Sanofi has, however, negotiated for about 10 euros per dose.
Noting that AstraZeneca is offering its vaccine at a lower price, an EU official said:
“If a company asks for a higher price, we don’t give the same conditions.”
The anonymous EU official also told Reuters more details on the AstraZeneca deal. The official said that the financial shield would cover legal costs and potential compensation.
In contrast, Sanofi does not get immunity from the EU as it asked for a higher price. Currently, the French pharmaceutical company is in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE: GSK) to produce a coronavirus vaccine.
Regarding the supply deals, AstraZeneca has received a non-refundable payment of €336 million from the EU. The payment is to secure 400 million doses of the British drugmaker’s vaccine. Also, the European government has paid €324 million to Sanofi to secure 300 million doses of the French drugmaker’s vaccine.
AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus Vaccine
Before now, AstraZeneca went on a break from its vaccine trials after one of its participants developed an unexplained illness. At that time, the company had negotiated the deal with the EU.
Recently, President Donald Trump asked pharmaceutical companies to deliver a vaccine before the 3rd of November election. As a result, many are concerned the president’s request could pressure the companies to deliver an unsafe vaccine.
In reaction, AstraZeneca pledged to adhere to science and safety procedures in developing its vaccine.
Speaking further, the EU official told Reuters that the deal with AstraZeneca would limit the possibility of claiming compensation in case of side effects. Although the drugmaker maintains liability for its vaccine, the EU government would share compensation costs.
Companies working to deliver a vaccine have called on the EU to set up a Europe-wide compensation scheme to dodge liability in case of side-effects. However, patients’ organizations seek an EU-wide fund backed by pharmaceutical companies to serve as compensation in case of unexpected side effects.
In the US, the government has granted immunity from liability to companies for their approved vaccines.
Currently trading at £8,508, AstraZeneca is down 0.60% over its previous close of £8,559. The British company increased by 15.26% over the past year and nearly 12% in 2020. Also, AZN climbed 0.64% in the last three months and 2.04% over the past month. Despite recent increases, the pharmaceutical company has lost 2.07% in the last five days.
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