Novavax buys manufacturing plant to ramp up vaccine production

May 27, 2020

U.S.-based Novavax has struck a deal to purchase a manufacturing plant from the Serum Institute of India (SII) as it aims to produce 1 billion doses of its coronavirus vaccine.

Like all the major players in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine, Novavax is prepping an at-risk manufacturing investment so that production lines are immediately ready to roll if its vaccine is approved. Most of the companies with leading vaccine candidates, including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sanofi, have said that they are striving to create capacity for 1 billion doses by 2021. 

To meet that goal, Novavax said it is buying Praha Vaccines, which is a unit of Cyrus Poonawalla Group, an Indian company that owns SII. 

Novavax also announced this week that it is enrolling patients for a phase 1/2 clinical trial of its vaccine candidate, which is based on proprietary recombinant nanoparticle technology. The trial will be held in Australia and the company plans to report preliminary immunogenicity and safety data by July.

There are now over 115 coronavirus vaccines in development and at least 10 (including Novavax’s candidate) in human trials.