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Although the parties need to negotiate a final agreement, technology transfer between GSK and Novavax is to begin immediately.
The UK government signed an advanced purchase agreement with Novavax in August 2020 for 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2373.
As part to the deal, Novavax conducted a phase 3 clinical trial of its vaccine candidate with support from the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Novavax also partnered with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture certain components of the vaccine in the UK, including the protein antigen component.
In January, Novavax revealed the initial results from the UK trial of NVX-CoV2373 that showed the vaccine candidate had an overall efficacy rate of 89.3%, based on 62 PCR-confirmed, symptomatic COVID-19 cases.
Preliminary analysis also found that the UK variant was detected in over 50% of the PCR-confirmed cases, with 32 cases being caused by the UK variant, 24 by the non-variant and six ‘unknown’.
Based on this information, Novavax calculated that its vaccine is 95.6% effective against the original COVID-19 strain and 85.6% effective against the UK variant.
“GSK is delighted to support Novavax and the UK Vaccines Taskforce with this manufacturing arrangement for the UK and our Barnard Castle facility is now undertaking the rapid preparation work required to manufacture up to 60 million doses of this vaccine,” said Roger Connor, president of GSK Vaccines.
“We have ensured that we can deliver these volumes without impacting supply of our other vital medicines and vaccines, and without disruption to the other COVID-19 collaborations GSK is engaged in globally,” he added.
Novavax is expecting to submit its vaccine candidate for review by regulatory authorities in the UK during the second quarter of 2021.