Novavax expands COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing through acquisition

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Ijeab)
(Image: Getty/Ijeab)

Related tags Novavax Praha Vaccines Coronavirus COVID-19

Novavax buys Praha Vaccines and gains the capacity to produce over one billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Novavax will purchase Praha Vaccines, a Czech Republic-based vaccines company, in an all cash deal worth $167m (€150m).

The deal will see Novavax take ownership of a biologics manufacturing facility and ‘associated assets’ in Bohumil, Czech Republic.

Starting in 2021, the company stated the site would allow it to establish an annual capacity of over one billion doses of antigen for NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The 150,000-square-foot facility at the center of the deal will be added to Novavax’s portfolio along with its existing employees, numbering approximately 150.

Stanley Erck, CEO of Novavax, said, “This acquisition provides the vital assets required to produce more than one billion doses per year. In parallel with ramping up production at Bohumil, we will continue efforts to expand antigen capacity in the US and Asia, and increase production of Matrix-M to match antigen capacity at multiple sites globally.”

Securing the one billion dose figure, which has proven popular with other companies developing leading vaccine efforts, such as Johnson & Johnson​ and Moderna​, will be aided through a partnership with the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The SII will work to increase production levels at the newly acquire site by the end of 2020.

Novavax confirmed that the sum required to acquire the facility had been raised through the record funding provided to it by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), secured last month​.

The vaccine candidate at the heart of these developments is currently going through Phase I clinical trials in Australia, with data from the trial likely to be available in July. A Phase II trial is expected to commence once top-line results are available.

According to the company, the vaccine candidate is a stable, prefusion protein antigen made using nanoparticle technology and includes Novavax’s proprietary ‘Matrix-M’ adjuvant.

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