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Novavax Revises COVID-19 Vaccine Deal With Serum Institute; Aims For 2 Billion Doses

Novavax Inc on Tuesday declared that it has revised its existing agreement with Serum Institute of India in order to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine


US-based drug developer Novavax Inc on Tuesday declared that it has revised its existing agreement with Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL), the world's largest vaccine manufacturing company, in order to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Novavax had signed a deal with Serum Institute in August, to produce a minimum of one billion doses of its vaccine candidate when approved for low and middle-income countries and India. As part of the augmented agreement, Serum Institute will also manufacture the antigen component of the vaccine, called 'NVX-CoV2373'. With this Novavax claims to bring its manufacturing capacity to over two billion doses by mid-2021.

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“Today’s agreement with Serum Institute enhances Novavax’ commitment to equitable global delivery of our COVID-19 vaccine. With this arrangement, we have now put in place a global supply chain that includes the recently acquired Praha Vaccines and partnerships with leading biologics manufacturers, enabling production on three continents,” Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax said in the company's official statement.

“We continue to work with extraordinary urgency to develop our vaccine, now in Phase 2 clinical trials, and for which we anticipate starting Phase 3 efficacy trials around the world in the coming weeks", he added.

The agreement with SIIPL augments a global supply chain that will deliver over two billion doses of NVX-CoV2373 annually as of 2021, the company said in its statement.

READ | Germany boosts own vaccine makers in race for COVID-19 jab

Novavax's vaccine currently in mid-stage trials

Currently, the Novavax's vaccine is in the mid-stage trials after an early-stage study showed it produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus infection. During the third quarter, the company plans to begin late-stage trials. In August, the company said it will supply 60 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate to the UK beginning as early as the first quarter of 2021.

Novavax is also preparing to deliver 100 million doses to the United States by January after it was awarded $1.6 billion for its potential vaccine. It has also signed supply agreements with Japan and Canada. Additionally, other drugmakers such as Moderna Inc and  Pfizer Inc have already begun large late-stage studies of their experimental vaccines.

Meanwhile, Serum Insitute of India is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally which about more than 1.3 billion doses. Vaccines manufactured by Serum are certified by the World Health Organization, Geneva and are being used in approximately 170 countries across the globe.

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