Novovax has signed a deal for the first 350 million of its Covid-19 vaccine doses bound for the Covax global vaccine-sharing facility, the US Biotech firm said on Thursday.
Novovax, which signed a memorandum of understanding in February to provide 1.1 billion doses in total, penned an advance purchase agreement with Covax for the first tranche.
They will be supplied, subjected to regulatory approval, from the third quarter of 2021 onwards into 2022.
The Serum Institute of India plant is expected to manufacture and deliver the remaining 750 million Novovax doses.
SII is currently making AstraZeneca vaccine doses which are being blocked from the export for Covax due to domestic demand, as the pandemic explodes in India.
Covax was set up to ensure poor countries have equitable access to vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The facility is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
CEPI invested nearly $400 million in Novovax in early 2020 to help get the vaccine off the ground.
“Today’s agreement with Novovax marks a major step towards Covax’s objective of building the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of Covid-19 vaccines, a major step towards our goal of delivering two billion doses of safe and effective vaccines in 2021,” said Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley.
96% efficacy – Novovax’s two dose NVX-CoV2373 vaccine injects pieces of the coronavirus to evoke an immune response. It can be stored at regular refrigeration temperatures.
The agreement contains the opportunity for Covax to access potential future versions of the vaccines adapted to new variants.