AstraZeneca has signed the tenth supply-and-manufacturing deal for the experimental coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine with a Scotland-backed firm as the British drugmaker increases the efforts for the wider trials of the potential treatment.

Symbiosis Pharmaceutical mentioned on Wednesday it agreed for making and supplying an unspecified number of units of the vaccine, AZD1222, for AstraZeneca for using clinical trials. The firms did not give any financial terms of the deal.

AstraZeneca Signs Deal

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AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot last month warned that the company was running out of time to effectively test the vaccine as the number of cases decline in Europe. Brazil last week became the first country outside of the UK to begin human testing of the vaccine AstraZeneca licensed from the University of Oxford. About 3,000 people in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have enrolled for trials.

Scotland's economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, supported the establishment of Symbiosis Pharmaceutical in 2011 and provided it with capital. "It is fantastic to see the continued success of Symbiosis in Scotland, and I applaud the vital work they are undertaking," Scotland's Trade Minister Ivan McKee said in a statement.

AstraZeneca has doubled manufacturing and supply capacity for its potential coronavirus vaccine to over two billion doses with deals such as those involving Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates-backed firms and India's Serum Institute. There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the illness caused by the new coronavirus, but about a dozen vaccines from more than 100 candidates globally are being tested in humans.

(With agency inputs)