US Defense Department Awards $60 Million For Coronavirus Vaccine Development

Novavax NVX‑CoV2373 vaccine candidate consists of a stable, prefusion protein antigen
scientist working in a lab
(Precision Vaccinations)

A Maryland based biotechnology company announced that the company has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the manufacturing of NVX‑CoV2373, a COVID-19 disease vaccine candidate.

The Defense Health Program has agreed to fund up to $60 million to support Novavax in its production of several components of the vaccine that will be manufactured in the U.S. 

Novavax, Inc.’s NVX‑CoV2373 vaccine consists of a stable, prefusion protein antigen made using its proprietary nanoparticle technology and includes Novavax’s proprietary Matrix‑M™ adjuvant.

The agreement also includes a 2020 delivery of 10 million doses of NVX‑CoV2373 for DoD that could be used in Phase 2/3 clinical trials or under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) if approved by the U.S. FDA.

Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax commented in a press statement: “Importantly, this award will allow Novavax to significantly expand its U.S. production capacity of NVX-CoV2373, a critical step in our ability to provide vaccine support to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As part of the contract, Novavax will work with a U.S.-based biologics contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) to manufacture the antigen component of NVX-CoV2373 for at least 10 million doses of vaccine. 

Novavax will also collaborate with U.S.-based CDMOs to scale up production and manufacture of the Matrix-M adjuvant component of the vaccine.

NVX‑CoV2373 was created using Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and contains Novavax’s patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. 

In preclinical trials, NVX‑CoV2373 demonstrated an indication of antibodies that block the binding of spike protein to receptors targeted by the virus, a critical aspect for effective vaccine protection. 

A Phase 1 clinical trial of NVX‑CoV2373 initiated in May 2020, with preliminary immunogenicity and safety results expected in July 2020. 

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is investing up to $388 million of funding to advance the clinical development of NVX‑CoV2373.

For more information visit Novavax

Precision Vaccinations publishes SARS-CoV-2 prevention vaccine news.