US-based vaccine major Novavax on Friday said along with its Indian partner Serum Institute of India (SII) it would supply 1.1 billion doses of Covid vaccine to Gavi-led COVAX.
The vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 has demonstrated clinical efficacy against the original Covid-19 strain and both of the rapidly emerging variants in the UK and South Africa.
Novavax licensed its NVX-CoV2373 vaccine technology to SII with no upfront, milestone or technology transfer payments. Novavax will supply the doses to high-income countries while SII will supply to the majority of the low-, middle-income and upper-middle income countries utilising a ‘tiered pricing schedule’.
Majority of the 1.1 billion doses commitment to Covax would come from SII’s Pune facility as the Indian vaccine maker already has a deal with AstraZeneca and Novavax to supply around 2 billion doses to them. The exact break-up is not known.
Novavax has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The vaccine doses of NVX-CoV2373 will be manufactured and distributed globally by SII and Novavax. SII already has an existing agreement with Gavi for this.
The Pune-based vaccine major has also already got an approval from the Indian regulator to start bridge trials (on smaller group of people of around 1,500-1,600) to test the safety and immunogenicity (whether the vaccine induces the desired immune response) of the vaccine candidate in India.
“We are pleased to deepen our partnership with Novavax and COVAX to increase the doses of vaccine available to benefit humanity,” said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer (CEO), Serum Institute of India.”
Novavax said NVX-CoV2373 was being studied in two ongoing phase 3 clinical trials — in the US and Mexico, as well as in the UK. The firm has reported positive outcome from interim efficacy results where the vaccine has shown 89.3 per cent efficacy in phase 3 clinical trials conducted in the UK.
NVX-CoV2373 is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation and is stable at 2°C to 8°C (refrigerated).
Stanley C Erck, president and CEO, Novavax, said, “We are proud to partner with all the COVAX collaborators and SII to provide global public health leadership and ensure that all countries have broad access to NVX-CoV2373.”
Gavi leads the design and implementation of the COVAX facility and will work with Novavax to finalise an advance purchase agreement for vaccine supply and global distribution allocation via the facility and its partners.