Novavax, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has received a $1.6 billion contract from the United States government to develop and produce 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The contract, awarded under the Department of Defense`s (DOD) Operation Warp Speed program, is aimed at speeding up the development and distribution of a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. The Novavax vaccine, called NVX-CoV2373, is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials and has shown promising results in earlier studies.
Under the contract, Novavax will manufacture and deliver 60 million doses of its vaccine to the federal government by the end of 2020. The remaining 40 million doses are expected to be delivered by the first quarter of 2021.
The Novavax vaccine candidate has shown promising results in preclinical studies, as well as Phase 1 clinical trials. In a Phase 1 trial, the vaccine produced a strong immune response in participants, with no serious adverse events reported.
The company has also received funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership that aims to accelerate vaccine development against emerging infectious diseases. The CEPI funding will support the ongoing clinical development of the vaccine, including a Phase 3 trial, which is expected to begin in the fall of 2020.
The Novavax vaccine uses a recombinant protein antigen, which triggers an immune response by mimicking the spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine is designed to be administered in two doses, 21 days apart.
Novavax is one of several companies that have received funding from the DOD`s Operation Warp Speed program. Other vaccine candidates under development include those from Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca.
The Novavax contract is a significant milestone in the global effort to develop a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. The DOD`s investment in the vaccine candidate is a testament to its potential and underscores the importance of continued investment in vaccine research and development.