Production of the vaccine will begin at the end of the year.
Novavax received $ 1.6 billion from the US government to test and produce a potential coronavirus vaccine. Novavax is expected to create and deliver 100 million doses of the new vaccine to consumers by January 2021.
Novavax received the most extensive grant from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the White House’s “Operation Superluminal Speed” initiative, aimed at developing vaccines and therapies to combat COVID-19.
The US Department of Health has funded the production of 100 million doses of the vaccine, deliveries of which will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and can be completed by January-February 2021, Stanley Erk, CEO of Novavax, told Reuters. Thanks to Federal funding, the company will also be able to complete the third phase of the vaccine trial – the final stage with human testing.
According to Erk, the results of the first stage of testing of the vaccine will be known within the next week. Novavax plans to start human testing in August-September, with the third phase of trials beginning in October.
In addition to Novavax, Johnson & Johnson ($456 million), Moderna Inc ($486 million), and AstraZeneca ($1.2 billion) also received grants to develop vaccines and therapies for COVID-19. Emergent Biosolutions received $ 628 million to expand production capacity to create a potential vaccine and treatment for coronavirus.
According to Health Minister Alex Azar, the appearance of Novavax in operation Superluminal portfolio increases the likelihood that the US will have “at least one safe effective vaccine available” by the end of the year.
Another $ 450 million contract was awarded to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which is developing COVID-19 treatments using an immune protein.
According to the company’s chief Executive, Novavax will soon transfer its vaccine production technology to a manufacturer with two large enterprises capable of producing the vaccine. The company name was not provided. Novavax is expected to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine every month by early 2021.
Novavax did not start testing the vaccine in humans until late May. This is because the vaccine is grown in insect cells; this process can take 30 days before scientists can start cleaning it up and mass-producing it.
Although Novavax has not yet produced a licensed vaccine, Sanofi uses the same necessary technology to create a flu vaccine, “so the risk that we will not succeed is quite low,” said Gregory Glenn, Novavax’s President of research and development.
The vaccines created by Novavax works in combination with an adjuvant – a substance that strengthens the immune response and helps the body create a reliable defense against the virus.