Scottish firm helped develop Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

A pharmaceutical firm based at Stirling University that worked on the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has welcomed its approval.

Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services welcomed the “amazing news” of the approval of the vaccine in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Wednesday.

"Amazing news for everyone with the confirmation that AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency supply in the UK by the MHRA, the UK medicines regulator, with the first doses being released today so that vaccinations may begin early in the New Year,” the company said in a statement.

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"As a key supplier of the AZD1222 vaccine to AstraZeneca for clinical trials, everyone at Symbiosis is tremendously proud to support the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 #vaccine and be part of a world-class team at the forefront of the global fight against Covid-19.”

The Symbiosis site at Stirling University.

Symbiosis, founded in 2011, manufactures pharmaceutical products for clients around the world.

The firm has 100 staff based at Stirling University Innovation Park.

It joined AstraZeneca in a deal announced in June to produce some of the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine which were used in trials.

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Elsewhere in the UK, a site in North Wales will be used in the final production stage of some of the doses to be given to the public.

Clinical trials of the vaccine included two test sites in Scotland and one in South Wales. AstraZeneca is a UK-based company with headquarters in Cambridge.

Another Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Valneva, based in Livingston in West Lothian, entered phase three clinical trials towards the end of December.

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