Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission has entered a contract with the pharmaceutical company Novanax to ensure access to up to 200 million doses of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 (NVX-CoV2373).
“We thank the European Commission for their partnership in this important step to expand vaccine options for the citizens of Europe and globally as we work to bring the first COVID-19 protein sub-unit vaccine to the market”, Stanley C. Erck, Novanax’s President and CEO, said.
Specifically, the agreement covers the purchase of up to 100 million doses of the vaccine with the option for an additional 100 million doses through 2023.
Faced with new and highly contagious COVID-19 variants, the EU executive is now partnering with a biotechnology company in developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases.
“As new coronavirus variants are spreading in Europe and around the world, this new contract with a company that is already testing its vaccine successfully against these variants is an additional safeguard for the protection of our population”, Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, declared.
Novanax’s COVID-19 vaccine is currently under rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with a view to its potential market authorisation.
“With clinical data from our trials showing strong efficacy against Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest, we believe that our vaccine candidate will play a critical role in the effort to help control the pandemic in the EU and other regions in the world”, CEO Erck observed.
According to Novanax, a Phase 3 clinical trial involving NVX-CoV2373, in which nearly 30,000 adults in the US and Mexico participated, demonstrated 100% protection against moderate and severe disease and a 90.4% overall efficacy rate.
In addition, a Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in the UK, with approximately 15,000 adult participants, showed an overall efficacy of 89.7%, and more than 96% efficacy against the original strain of the virus.
Portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines
“Vaccinations in the EU are advancing and we are closer to our target of 70% fully vaccinated citizens by the end of summer. Our new agreement with Novavax expands our vaccine portfolio to include one more protein-based vaccine, a platform showing promise in clinical trials”, Health and Food Safety CommissionerStella Kyriakides announced.
The Commission’s contract with Novanax complements a broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, Moderna and the recently concluded exploratory talks with Valneva.
Under the contract with Novanax, the Commission expects to receive more vaccines by the end of 2021 and 2022.