BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland-based company has signed a $174 million agreement to expand production of a coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Gaithersburg-based Emergent BioSolutions announced on Monday it had signed the agreement to develop and manufacture AstraZeneca’s possible COVID-19 vaccine.

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Under the agreement, manufacturing will begin at Emergent’s Bayview facility in Baltimore.

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AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University, has signed Emergent and other companies to mass-produce the vaccine if it works.

The vaccine is one of several candidates supported by Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s program to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with the goal of making them available by early 2021.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Vic Carter