In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday, Novavax (NVAX 1.16%) disclosed that the U.K. government had agreed to purchase 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2372, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The deal also gives the U.K. the option to make additional orders "from time to time."

A price per dose for the initial order wasn't disclosed by the biotech. Typically, additional orders would come at a higher price per dose, but the differential wasn't disclosed either.

As part of the agreement, Novavax agreed to create a dedicated supply chain in the U.K. for the production of that country's order. The company will be required to deliver those 60 million doses to the U.K. government before using that supply chain to fulfill orders for any other parties unless the U.K. government gives it permission.

Once the initial order is fulfilled, Novavax will be able to take orders from other parties using that portion of its production capacity, but the U.K. government will retain the right to request additional batches to match the third-party sales on a pro-rata basis.

Gloved hands giving an injection into a shoulder

Image source: Getty Images.

Novavax's first phase 3 study of NVX-CoV2372 is being run in the U.K., so that country is likely to be the first one in which it applies for regulatory approval to sell the vaccine. The company expects the 15,000-patient study will be fully enrolled by the end of November. Results from the study could come as early as the first quarter of 2021, but the timing will, ultimately, be driven by the infection rate of the participants in the trial.

Novavax is also planning to run a phase 3 study of NVX-CoV2372 in the U.S. and Mexico. That trial is scheduled to start by the end of November.