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Politics, Policy & Law

Bingham’s tenure with U.K. COVID vaccine task force drawing to a close

Nov 10, 2020 | 12:38 AM GMT

Kate Bingham will step down, as planned, as chair of the U.K. Vaccine Taskforce in the coming weeks.

Bingham joined the COVID-focused task force in May shortly after its launch with a commitment to stay six months. 

The longtime biotech investor, who has been reporting directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been coordinating work across government agencies, academia and industry to rapidly develop vaccines, and ensure that manufacturing resources are in place to produce a vaccine in mass quantities both in the U.K. and around the world. She stepped back from her role as managing partner at SV Health Investors.

Bingham outlined the steps the U.K. government has taken as well as the progress that’s been made to develop and procure COVID-19 vaccines in an Oct. 27 article in The Lancet.

The U.K. has options to purchase six of the leading vaccine candidates and a procurement deal with AstraZeneca plc (LSE:AZN; NASDAQ:AZN) for a neutralizing mAb cocktail to be used as a prophylactic. Bingham said two of the vaccines, NVX-CoV2373 from Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) and AZD1222 from AZ and the University of Oxford, are under evaluation in U.K. Phase III trials.

Bingham spoke to BioCentury this summer about the U.K.’s response to the pandemic for Back to School 2020: “The Imperative of COVID-19 — Biopharma’s Once-in-a-Generation Chance for Change.” In the audio interview, Bingham detailed the U.K.’s investments in vaccine and cell and gene therapy manufacturing capacity that will give the country surge capacity to cope with future outbreaks and commercial capabilities for less stressful times. She also discussed ways the country is implementing its NHS network of hospitals and national registry to combat the pandemic.

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