Oxford Biomedica expects surge in profits from AZ jab production

Oxford Biomedica, the manufacturer behind the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, has revealed it expects to see a significant boost in profits from its production of the jab.

Unlike pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which has said it will not benefit financially from the vaccine during the pandemic, Biomedica said that it expects “significant growth” although it did not specify by how much.

The company revealed the profit boost will come from signing a new 18-month supply agreement with AstraZeneca, which will double revenues from £50 million to £100 million this year.

Coronavirus – Mon Jan 18, 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Oxford Biomedica’s facilities earlier this year (Heathcliff O’Malley/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

To reassure investors, the business also said it does not expect the additional production demands to have any impact on partnerships in its cell and gene therapy divisions.

Biomedica started life as a spin-off from Oxford University in the 1990s before joining the stock market as a listed company.

Shares surged by 9% on Tuesday morning following the announcement valuing the firm at £900 million.

Biomedica has not commented publicly on what profit margins it expects to make from producing the vaccine.

John Dawson, chief executive officer of Oxford Biomedica, said: “Everyone involved with production of the Covid-19 vaccine can be truly proud of their achievement in manufacturing batches of vaccine from our Oxbox manufacturing facility.

“We are delighted to be a key supplier of the vaccine and the Group is proud to be part of this world-leading vaccination project that is saving many lives.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally opened the company’s new factory in Oxford in January.

At the time, he said: “The tireless work of your 250-strong team has helped accelerate our vaccine rollout, meaning millions of life-saving jabs are already in arms across the UK.”

Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which worked in partnership to create the vaccine, have said it will be available at cost price “in perpetuity” to low and middle-income nations, and is currently charging three dollars (£2.11) in the UK, 2.15 dollars in the EU (1.77 euro) and four dollars in the US.