Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) has announced that it has received a contract from the US Defence Department (DOD) for the production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. This comes after the company signed a partnership deal with AGC Biologics to manufacture the vaccine candidate.
Novavax partners with AGC Biologics to manufacture NVX-CoV2373 add-on component
The company’s vaccine candidate comprises a stable prefusion protein antigen that is made through nanoparticle technology, including the company’s novel Matric-MTM adjuvant. AGC Biologics will manufacture the add-on component of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine, which will help in enhancing immune response.
The company is among the drugmakers that have commenced human trials of the COVID-19 vaccine and have indicated that it targets more than a billion doses by next year. Interim data from the first participants on the safety and indicators of the immune response from the study are expected in July.
DOD awards Novavax with $60 million for COVID-19 vaccine development
The Department of Defence has committed $60 million to fund the production of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine. The amount will go into supporting the Maryland based biotech company in the manufacture of various vaccine components. The vaccine will be produced in the US, and according to the agreement the company is expected to deliver around 10 million doses of the vaccine to DOD. This will be used in the Phase 2/3 clinical study or under the Emergency Use Authorization once the FDA approves it.
Stanley Erck, the CEO and President of Novavax indicated that they were delighted to protect military personnel and their families. He added that the award will help the company expand its US manufacturing capacity of NVX-CoV2373, which is an important step in offering a vaccine supporting the coronavirus pandemic.
The company is expected to work with a biologics contract development manufacturing organization in the manufacture of the NVX-CoV2373 antigen component as part of the deal. Similarly, the company is expected to work with other CDMOs based in the US in scaling manufacture and production of Matrix-MTM adjuvant.