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Novavax Ready to Produce Nearly 3 Billion Coronavirus Vaccine Doses (With a Little Help From Friends)

By Brian Orelli, PhD – Updated Aug 11, 2020 at 4:20PM

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Government backing has helped the tiny biotech ramp up quickly.

Novavax (NVAX -1.49%) has only completed the first phase of clinical trials for its coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, but the relatively small biotech has already lined up at least 2.75 billion in manufacturing capacity through partnerships and an acquisition. Despite not having any drugs on the market, the biotech was able to secure the capacity through about $2 billion in funding from the U.S. government and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.


Annual Capacity (Doses)

Takeda Pharmaceutical (TAK)

250 million

Serum Institute of India

1 billion

Novavax CZ

1 billion

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

500 million-600 million

Source: Novavax.

The deal with Takeda to sell NVX-CoV2373 in Japan entitles Novavax to undisclosed development and commercial-milestone payments as well as a portion of proceeds from the vaccine sold by Takeda.

Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, plans to be able to manufacture 1 billion doses starting in January 2021. Novavax will split the revenue with the contract manufacturer.

In the second quarter, Novavax acquired Praha Vaccines in the Czech Republic, which it renamed Novavax CZ. The deal came with a manufacturing facility and over 150 employees to run the plant. Novavax hopes to have the 1 billion annual production available starting in 2021.

FUJIFILM will take care of the U.S. market -- estimated by Novavax at 500 million to 600 million doses -- using its two manufacturing plants in North Carolina and Texas.

Gloved hands holding a syringe injecting into a shoulder

Image source: Getty Images.

NVX-CoV2373 requires an adjuvant called Matrix-M that boosts the patient's immune response to the protein-based vaccine. Novavax has lined up AGC Biologics and PolyPeptide Group to take care of the manufacturing of Matrix-M.

Novavax plans to start a phase 2 clinical trial for NVX-CoV2373 this month and then hopefully move on to a phase 3 study with up to 30,000 subjects starting in the fall of 2020.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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