Co-lead of COVAX facility, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Novavax to supply 1.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, combined with a separate existing agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII).
The MoU which finalises advance purchase agreement with the producer adds to the array of vaccines available to all countries and economies participating in the COVAX Facility.
Novavax vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, is part of the COVAX research and development (R&D) portfolio that the manufacturing has been pushed with investments by COVAX co-lead Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The vaccine uses a nanoparticle technology platform to generate antigens from the spike protein found on the outer shell of the coronavirus.
It received the highest funding from CEPI at a total of US$ 388 million. Phase two of clinical trials started in South Africa last August, while phase three began in the UK in September as well as in the USA in December last year.
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“This agreement brings the COVAX Facility one step closer to its goal of supplying vaccines globally and ending the acute phase of the pandemic,” said Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi.
“It helps us close in on our goal of delivering two billion doses in 2021 and increases the range of vaccines available to us as we build a portfolio suitable for all settings and contexts,” Berkley said.
Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said the body’s partnership with Novavax was poised to play a significant role in combating COVID-19 globally with its investments targeted at enabling equitable access to a significant volume of vaccines.
Gavi oversees the design, coordination and implementation of the COVAX facility, a global mechanism that seeks to procure, equitably allocate and deliver at least 2 billion doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
Ninety-eight higher-income economies have signed up as self-financing members of the facility, joining 92 low-and middle-income economies that will have their participation supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
“Gavi’s role in ensuring widespread and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide is critical to solving this global public health crisis,” said Stanley Erck, president and chief executive officer, Novavax.
“This partnership represents significant progress in Novavax’s quest to deliver an urgently needed safe and effective vaccine across the globe,” Erck said.