AstraZeneca has signed a deal with Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics to develop potential messenger RNA vaccines, as the company expands its work to include the technology first proven in the Covid-19 pandemic.Shares in CanSino rose more than 25 per cent on Wednesday after the company announced the agreement to provide manufacturing services for the Anglo Swedish drugmaker. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.
The agreement is a sign that AstraZeneca is investing in the mRNA technology that was used successfully for the first time in the Covid-19 jabs developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, and Moderna. CanSino has reported positive early results for its mRNA jab.
AstraZeneca said it was working on “next generation technologies” to develop vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases where there was “high unmet need”.