Novavax, a biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, GSK and the UK Government Vaccines Taskforce announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to support manufacturing of up to 60 million doses of Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate (NVX-CoV2373) for use in the UK.
GSK will provide ‘fill and finish’ manufacturing capacity at its Barnard Castle facility in the North East of England beginning as early as May 2021, with a rapid technology transfer between the two companies beginning immediately. GSK and Novavax will negotiate a final agreement to include additional terms and conditions.
The UK Government has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine under an advance purchase agreement with Novavax. The protein antigen component of NVX-CoV2373 is also produced in the North East of England by Novavax’ manufacturing partner, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, at their site in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.
Roger Connor, President, GSK vaccines, said: “GSK is delighted to support Novavax and the UK Vaccines Taskforce with this manufacturing arrangement for the UK and our Barnard Castle facility is now undertaking the rapid preparation work required to manufacture up to 60m doses of this vaccine. We have ensured that we can deliver these volumes without impacting supply of our other vital medicines and vaccines, and without disruption to the other Covid-19 collaborations GSK is engaged in globally.”
“This partnership with GSK continues the expansion of our global supply network, which we expect to increase overall production capacity and, if approved by regulatory agencies, support access to a potentially important new vaccine against Covid-19,” said Rick Crowley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Novavax. “We thank the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce for its instrumental role in ensuring the progress of our Covid-19 vaccine, from both a clinical and now manufacturing perspective, as well as GSK for making their facilities available to help fight the pandemic.”
The Novavax vaccine candidate has demonstrated strong potential efficacy in Phase III clinical trials, including against the B.1.1.7 variant circulating in the UK. Submission of the vaccine for review by regulatory authorities in the UK is expected during the second quarter.