Novavax receives $1.6bn from OWS with ambitious vaccine delivery target, says GlobalData
Following the news that US biotech Novavax announced it will receive $1.6bn funding for the development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373;
Philipp Rosenbaum, PhD, Senior Infectious Diseases Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“Even with the Operation Warp Speed’s (OWS’s) support boosting Novavax’s late-stage clinical trials, manufacturing and distribution, the goal to deliver 100 million vaccine doses as early as late 2020 is very ambitious - given NVX-CoV2373 is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials and Novavax has no experience in large-scale manufacturing and distribution of vaccines. With promising technology but no marketed products, Novavax will have to ramp up manufacturing capacities quickly and expand collaborations with contract manufacturers in order to fulfill the goal.
“The need for manufacturing capacities for the adjuvant poses an additional hurdle for the company. Novavax has recently bought a vaccine manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic to strengthen its capabilities, but this still might not be enough to meet the conditions of the OWS funding, which likely required the company to deliver vaccines first for use in the US.
“If Novavax’s noted talks with other contract manufacturers in the US for the production of both the nanoparticle and adjuvant component of its vaccine come to fruition, this would get the company one step further to achieving that goal. Given the pandemic situation and government ambition to move production to the US, many companies compete for manufacturing resources, but likely not all vaccine candidates will be successful in clinical studies.
"The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently signed a deal with Emergent BioSolutions for the manufacturing and fill-finish of vaccine candidates that receive OWS support, providing an additional resource for Novavax to reach the delivery goal."
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