SK bioscience will manufacture the vaccine antigen component for use in the final drug product globally during the pandemic period.
NVX-CoV2373 was developed using Novavax' recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate a stable, prefusion antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein. It contains Novavax' patented saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Phase 1 data from the Company’s Phase 1/2 randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial shows that NVX-CoV2373 was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody responses numerically superior to that seen in human convalescent sera.
SK bioscience, using its cell culture and recombinant protein capability, will initiate the production of the NVX-CoV2373 antigen at its vaccine facility in Andong L-house, South Korea beginning in August 2020.
This contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) agreement leverages the capacity reservation agreement between SK bioscience and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Novavax' NVX-CoV2373 will be manufactured using a part of the reserved capacity at SK Bioscience’s “L-House” facility.
This agreement further boosts the potential global supply of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine and is an important component of Novavax’ collaboration with CEPI. Through that partnership with CEPI, Novavax has committed to develop and manufacture significant amounts of NVX-CoV2373, including vaccine derived from antigen coming from SK bioscience, if proved safe and effective, to be procured and distributed by the COVAX Facility through a globally fair allocation framework.
"We are proud to partner with SK bioscience to fulfill our commitment to ensure global supply of NVX-CoV2373 in alignment with our partnership with CEPI,” said Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO of Novavax. “SK bioscience shares our sense of urgency to ensure broad and equitable access for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate around the world.”
Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience said, "SK's accumulated vaccine R&D and production capability has been spotlighted by the world's most advanced global pharmaceutical companies as well as the global initiatives for the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and supply such as CEPI. We will cooperate with the government supporting its two-track strategy, developing vaccine in Korea and securing COVID-19 vaccine from a global manufacturer in a short period of time."