Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced on Thursday that it had signed an advance purchase agreement with Novavax for its highly efficacious NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate against COVID-19. The agreement is for a commitment to purchase 350 million doses of the Novavax vaccine candidate, secured on behalf of the COVAX Facility.
Supply of the vaccine is anticipated to commence in Q3 2021, as soon as Novavax has secured the required regulatory approvals. Deliveries would then continue through the second half of the year and into 2022.
The Novavax vaccine will be used to supply both high-income and upper middle-income self-financing participants in the COVAX Facility, as well as the 92 lower-income economies eligible for donor-funded doses via the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). In order to anticipate the rising threat of variants, the agreement also contains the opportunity to access variant-adapted vaccine if this becomes necessary.
“Today’s agreement with Novavax marks a major step towards COVAX’s objective of building the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines, and a major step towards our goal of delivering 2 billion doses of safe and effective vaccines in 2021,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Novavax’s commitment not only to support COVAX directly but also through technology transfer via other manufacturers, shines a light on the end-to-end nature of COVAX and the kind of collaboration needed to bring this pandemic under control.”
NVX-CoV2373 is part of the COVAX R&D portfolio, and the development and manufacturing of the vaccine have been accelerated by significant investments by COVAX co-lead the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI’s investments were directly linked to equitable access commitments which have been key to enabling this agreement, including providing COVAX with priority access to production from the CEPI-funded manufacturing network for Novavax.
“CEPI’s investments to accelerate the clinical development and manufacturing of this vaccine candidate have been critical to enabling equitable access to the vaccine through COVAX,” said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. “With this agreement in place, the Novavax vaccine candidate will play a vital role in our mission to protect those most at risk from COVID-19, wherever they are in the world.”
Today’s APA follows a memorandum of understanding signed by Gavi and Novavax in February securing access to a cumulative 1.1 billion doses of the Novavax vaccine candidate. The remaining volumes will come from a purchase agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII). In addition, Novavax has agreed to provide additional doses in the event the Serum Institute cannot materially deliver expected vaccine doses to the COVAX Facility.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to partner with global organizations focused on accelerating equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in countries where vaccination rates are currently low,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. “This arrangement is the culmination of a collaboration among CEPI, Gavi, Serum Institute and Novavax, who are partnering in our urgent mission to deliver significant amounts of vaccines to all countries, regardless of income level. Novavax thanks CEPI for its longstanding support, and their tireless work with Gavi as the curators of the COVAX Facility.”
The COVAX Facility portfolio, administered by Gavi, currently consists of agreements related to 8 vaccines and vaccine candidates – AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, SII-Covishield, SII-Covavax, and Sanofi/GSK. A further 7 vaccine candidates are supported by the COVAX R&D portfolio, administered by CEPI.