GSK Supports Manufacture of Novavax’ COVID-19 Vaccine
By Tim Wright, Editor, Contract Pharma | 03.31.21
GSK will provide fill and finish manufacturing capacity for up to 60 million doses at its Barnard Castle facility.
The UK Government has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine under an advance purchase agreement with Novavax. The protein antigen component of NVX-CoV2373 is also produced in the North East of England by Novavax’ manufacturing partner, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, at their site in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.
Fill and finish, to be provided by GSK, is the completion stage of vaccine manufacturing, preparing vials of the final vaccine and packaging them for distribution and use. The GSK site at Barnard Castle, which will deliver the vaccine doses under this collaboration, is a specialized facility in GSK’s global manufacturing network, which supports production of GSK pharmaceutical and vaccine products.
“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, 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.”
Rick Crowley, executive vice president and chief operations officer, Novavax, said, “This partnership with GSK continues the expansion of our global supply network, which we expect to increase overall production capacity and, if approved by regulatory agencies, support access to a potentially important new vaccine against COVID-19. We thank the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce for its instrumental role in ensuring the progress of our COVID-19 vaccine, from both a clinical and now manufacturing perspective, as well as GSK for making their facilities available to help fight the pandemic.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said, “I’m delighted by GSK’s investment, which shows the strength of UK manufacturing, and will further boost our vaccine rollout. The Vaccines Taskforce has worked hand in glove with business to successfully deliver vaccines to the whole of the UK, and this agreement will continue to support our approach. We remain on track to offer a first jab to all over 50s by 15 April, and all adults by the end of July, and I want to once again encourage everyone to come forward for a vaccine when you’re called.”
The Novavax vaccine candidate has demonstrated strong potential efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials, including against the B.1.1.7 variant circulating in the UK. Submission of the vaccine for review by regulatory authorities in the UK is expected during the second quarter.