Novavax’s vaccine has generated promising immune responses in early-stage testing.
PHOTO: SARAH SILBIGER/BLOOMBERG NEWS
U.K. will fund a late-stage trial of the vaccine candidate, which
would be made at a contract manufacturer’s plant in the country
D. Rockoff and
Novavax Inc.NVAX 7.12%has
agreed to provide 60 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the U.K.
for an undisclosed sum, as countries move to secure supplies of the shots.
Under the terms, the U.K. will fund a late-stage trial
vaccine candidate starting this quarter evaluating the shot in the
country’s residents, and a contract manufacturer will make a key part of
the vaccine at a plant in Stockton-on-Tees in northeast England, the
company said Friday.
The contract manufacturer, a partnership between Fujifilm Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp. named
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, will also make extra supplies that
Novavax could provide in other markets, the vaccine maker said.
“It is encouraging that Novavax’s recent clinical data
shows their vaccine triggers an immune response greater than that in
patients who have recovered from the disease,” said Kate Bingham, chair
of the U.K. government’s vaccines task force.
The vaccine is among the most advanced in development,
though not as far along as shots under development by companies
including AstraZeneca PLC, Moderna Inc. and
a partnership between Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech
The U.K. government is also set to receive 60 million
doses of an experimental vaccine under development by Valneva
SE of France.
Novavax, of Gaithersburg, Md., was founded in 1987 but
doesn’t have any products on the market. Its coronavirus vaccine is
expected to require two shots. It is scheduled to begin mid-stage, or
Phase 2, testing this month.
The company has now struck several deals with
governments, companies and foundations that would see its vaccine
distributed in South Korea, Japan and India, among other places.
As part of the U.K. deal, Novavax said it would study the
vaccine in about 9,000 adults ages 18 years to 85 years in the country,
and if successful, the company would begin supplying doses as early as
the first quarter of next year.
“We are honored to partner with the U.K. government to
deliver a vaccine that could provide vital protection in the fight
against the global health crisis,” said Novavax Chief Executive Stanley
Fujifilm’s plant in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, will
make the part of Novavax’s vaccine, known as an antigen, that generates
an immune response. The plant will eventually produce about 180 million
doses of the antigen a year, Novavax said.
Novavax Inks Covid-19 Vaccine Deal With U.K. for 60 Million Doses
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