AstraZeneca is reportedly in talks to shift production of its coronavirus vaccine to a Maryland-based factory operated by Catalent, Inc.
The New York Times reported that the British drugmaker is in negotiations with the federal government to to retrofit a production line after embattled drugmaker Emergent BioSolutions was forced to stop manufacturing the vaccine at a plant in Baltimore.
AstraZeneca was awarded a $1.2 billion contract last May from the federal government for clinical trials and for production of 300 million doses of the vaccine.
A federal official told The Times that the government was negotiating its contract to shift production of the vaccine from Emergent to Catalent.
Catalent currently produces AstraZenca’s vaccine for export.
Holly Campbell, a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca told The Times “we can confirm we are working with Catalent but have not disclosed specific details on supply.” A spokesperson for Catalent declined to comment to the newspaper.
The Hill has reached out to AstraZeneca and Catalent for comment.
The move comes after the Biden administration removed AstraZeneca from the Emergent plant following a manufacturing mishap while Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine was also being produced at the site. J&J was given complete control over the camp.
Workers reportedly conflated two ingredients in the vaccines, contaminating up to 15 million doses. The facility was manufacturing both vaccines at the time.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted production of the vaccine at the plant while it inspected the facility. A report from the inspection revealed multiple failures, including not following procedures to prevent cross-contamination.
The Times reported that inspectors conducted another onsite review of the Emergent plant on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine has not yet been authorized in the U.S., but the administration has pledged to donate doses to other countries in need. Earlier this year, several countries temporarily stopped using the vaccine admits concerns that it was connected to rare blood clotting.