Butler County facility gearing up to mass produce coronavirus vaccine

AstraZeneca’s Butler County manufacturing facility at 8814 Trade Port Drive in West Chester Twp. STAFF FILE PHOTO
AstraZeneca’s Butler County manufacturing facility at 8814 Trade Port Drive in West Chester Twp. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Drug maker AstraZeneca is retrofitting its Butler County manufacturing facility within the next two to three weeks.

That’s because the company’s complex at 8814 Trade Port Drive in West Chester Twp. has been chosen to produce its COVID-19 vaccine, which is under late-stage trials in Europe, officials said.

“We are progressing construction and preparation activities at the West Chester site, and other sites globally, to be fully prepared for the formulation, filling and packaging of the COVID vaccine,” said spokeswoman Michele Meixell.

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The permit for the company’s retrofitting project was finalized Monday, according to township officials. It will be carried out by Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group, which has a location in Sharonville.

AstraZeneca’s West Chester Twp. site employs approximately 400 people. The company employs nearly 13,000 people nationwide and more than 70,000 worldwide.

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The drug maker said May 21 it had secured its first agreements for 400 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine it is testing.

The Anglo-Swedish company reported it had received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting this fall.

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The investment will accelerate the development and production of the vaccine, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said. It had already joined forces with the British government and is in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase production and distribution.

“We will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available,” Soriot said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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