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Oxford Biomedica lifts outlook as AstraZeneca ramps up vaccine output

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(Reuters) -Oxford Biomedica on Tuesday doubled the revenue expectation from its COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with AstraZeneca after the drugmaker commissioned more batches from the company in the second half of 2021.

Shares of the cell therapy firm, which has an agreement to mass-produce AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, rose 6.2% in early trading.

Oxford Biomedica raised its forecast for cumulative revenues from AstraZeneca by end-2021 to more than 100 million pounds ($141.82 million) from more than 50 million pounds earlier. The company did not provide any other details on its deal.

Liberum analysts said the increased supply deal was a “huge endorsement” of Oxford Biomedica’s capabilities, and that a further extension from AstraZeneca feels “increasingly likely”.

AstraZeneca has had a bruising start to the year as it struggled with vaccine production and faced a legal battle after cutting deliveries to Europe.

Oxford Biomedica was spun off in 1995 from the University of Oxford, which developed the COVID-19 vaccine before licensing it to AstraZeneca in April 2020.

The company, which signed the 18-month supply deal with AstraZeneca in September 2020, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

($1 = 0.7051 pounds)

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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