Novavax Taps GlaxoSmithKline to Help Manufacture COVID-19 Vaccine in UK
Novavax has enlisted GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to help it mass produce its promising COVID-19 vaccine in the UK as the inoculation draws closer to potential authorization.
Under the newly reached agreement, GSK will begin providing fill-and-finish manufacturing as soon as May for up to 60 million doses of the Gaithersburg, Md.-based firm’s COVID-19 vaccine at its Barnard Castle site, a specialized facility located in northeast England. GSK said that the facility has already begun making the preparations required for the large effort, the fruits of which will go toward UK vaccinations.
“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,” the UK drugmaker said.
The UK government reached a deal with Novavax for 60 million doses in August of last year (DID, Aug. 17, 2020). The company’s vaccine is likely to be the next one authorized in the UK. In the U.S., where Novavax has agreed to supply 110 million doses, the company is hoping that data from its UK trial will be enough for the FDA to review it and potentially grant Emergency Use Authorization in May (DID, March 29).
Novavax has projected that it will be able to make 150 million doses per month globally in the third quarter of the year, and its collaboration with GSK is the latest partnership it’s struck to support its production goals.
The company is also using eight other manufacturing sites to make its COVID-19 vaccine, including by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest producer of vaccines. The antigen component of its vaccine is being made at Novavax’s Czech Republic plant, SII, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ U.S. plants in North Carolina and Texas, and other locations. Its adjuvant is being produced by Novavax’s Swedish facility and two partnered manufacturers — AGC Biologics’ U.S. and Denmark facilities, and PolyPeptide Group’s U.S. and Sweden facilities. — James Miessler