However, as a part of the expanded agreement, Serum Institute will also manufacture the antigen component of NVX‑CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID‑19 vaccine candidate.
“Today’s agreement with Serum Institute enhances Novavax’ commitment to equitable global delivery of our COVID-19 vaccine. With this arrangement, we have now put in place a global supply chain that includes the recently acquired Praha Vaccines and partnerships with leading biologics manufacturers, enabling production on three continents," said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax.
“We continue to work with extraordinary urgency to develop our vaccine, now in Phase 2 clinical trials, and for which we anticipate starting Phase 3 efficacy trials around the world in the coming weeks," the company said in a statement.
US-based Novavax's vaccine is in mid-stage trials after an early-stage trial showed it produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
Serum is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.3 billion doses). It is estimated that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. Vaccines manufactured by Serum are accredited by the World Health Organization, Geneva and are being used in approximately 170 countries across the globe.
Moreover, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and SII have also partnered for clinical development of a glycoprotein subunit nanoparticle adjuvanted vaccine developed by Novavax.
"Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase-I trials. Serum Institute has completed phase II-B3 trials, and will start phase-III trial (with 1,500 patients at 14 locations) after clearances," said Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR.
Apart from Novavax-SII trials, other drugmakers such as Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have already begun large late-stage studies of their experimental vaccines.