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Pharmaceuticals

Two Asian pharmas hold key for global supply of Oxford vaccine

India's Serum aims for 400m doses in 2020; S Korea's SK Bioscience keen on exports

Oxford University and AstraZeneca are tying up with Asian companies for mass production of the Oxford vaccine, which this photo shows being injected into a trial participant's arm. (Photo courtesy of Oxford University via AP)

MUMBAI/SEOUL -- Two Asian pharmaceutical companies are poised to become key players in the global fight against the new coronavirus pandemic after they were tapped to help mass-produce a promising new vaccine for the disease, which has already killed 650,000 worldwide and infected over 16 million.

Serum Institute of India and South Korea's SK Bioscience have reached an agreement to produce a vaccine developed by Oxford University and British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca. The vaccine showed a robust immune response in its early trial phases during which it was tested on 1,077 participants, according to findings published in The Lancet medical journal on July 20.

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