What happened

Shares of Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) climbed 7% on Thursday after the biotechnology company struck a development and supply deal with SK Bioscience, a subsidiary of South Korean giant SK Group. 

So what 

SK Bioscience will produce the antigen component of Novavax's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373. The two companies also reached an agreement with South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare to make the vaccine -- should it prove both safe and effective -- available in South Korea and international markets.

A syringe withdraws liquid from a vial.

Novavax stock rose on news of a new coronavirus supply deal. Image source: Getty Images.

"We are proud to partner with SK Bioscience to fulfill our commitment to ensure global supply of NVX-CoV2373," Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said in a press release. "SK Bioscience shares our sense of urgency to ensure broad and equitable access for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate around the world."

Now what

Early data from Novavax's phase 1/2 trial showed that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced a robust antibody response and was generally well-tolerated. Those results apparently drew the interest of SK Group and the South Korean government. Other governments have also shown interest in NVX-CoV2373; Novavax also recently reached deals with Takeda Pharmaceutical and Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) to help bring its vaccine to Japan and India, respectively, should it obtain regulatory approval.

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