AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) says that it expects the European Medical Agency’s (EMA) approval for a factory in the Netherlands later this month or early April.
What Happened: According to Reuters, the facility has been at the center of a row between Britain and the European Union over COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
The plant is listed as a supplier of vaccines in both the contracts that AstraZeneca has signed with Britain and the European Union.
The Leiden-based plant is run by sub-contractor Halix and is helping to manufacture the AstraZeneca shot.
“We are well on track in order to get the approval by EMA in the course of March, beginning of April, and this is exactly according to our plan,” said Ruud Dobber, executive vice president of the BioPharmaceuticals business, on a briefing.
Why It Matters: After falling far behind Britain and the U.S. in rolling out vaccines, the EU’s leaders are set to discuss imposing a ban on vaccine exports to Britain at a summit on Thursday.
Last week, European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen threatened to stop vaccine exports to safeguard scarce doses.
Without regulatory approval, vaccines produced at Halix cannot be used in either the EU or Britain.
Astra executives said the site would play a relatively minor role in supplies to the EU, which primarily relied on production from a Belgium site and another one in the U.S.
Earlier today, AZN reported that the shot showed 79% efficacy from interim data in U.S. trials.
Price Action: AZN shares are trading 3.47% higher at $50.92 in market trading hours on the last check Monday.
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