Oxford vaccine fill-finish site threatened by severe floods

Wockhardt is operating as normal to supply AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after being hit by floods at its Wrexham, fill-finish facility.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

January 21, 2021

2 Min Read
Oxford vaccine fill-finish site threatened by severe floods
Image: iStock/MikeNicholson1955

Wockhardt is operating as normal to supply AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after being hit by a storm at its Wrexham, Wales, fill-finish facility.

Storm Christoph has caused – and continues to cause – severe damage across North Wales, and yesterday hit a facility producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (AZD1222) run by Wockhardt UK.

“Last night at approximately 1600 hours, Wockhardt UK experienced mild flooding, resulting in excess water surrounding part of the buildings across site,” the third-party manufacturer said in a statement.


Image: iStock/MikeNicholson1955

“All necessary precautions were taken meaning no disruption to manufacturing or inlet of water into buildings. The site is now secure and free from any further flood damage and operating as normal.”

A spokesperson for the firm added that while the water surrounded buildings on site, the fill-finish operations were not affected and production was neither halted, nor were stored vials of the vaccine under threat.

The site is used for the fill-finish of the COVID-19 vaccine, having won an 18-month UK government contract in August last year. Since AstraZeneca bagged UK approval at the end of last month, the facility has begun commercial runs in order to fulfil the contracted demand of 100 million doses.

However, according to Scrip news, the site, operated by subsidiary, CP Pharmaceuticals, is the only fill-finish facility in the UK and could supply up to 350 million doses annually on a multidose vial basis to the UK government, netting the firm between $50 million and $100 million.

In related news, a fire has broken out at the Serum Institute of India at its site in Pune, which is manufacturing the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine in the region. According to Reuters, the fire has not affected production of the coronavirus vaccine.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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