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Novavax to provide 60mln COVID-19 vaccine doses to UK government

AstraZeneca also announced plans to make 400mln doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for Latin American countries in early 2021

Novavax, Inc. - Novavax to provide 60mln COVID-19 vaccine doses to UK government

Novavax Inc (NASDAQ:NVAX) has agreed to provide 60mln doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in trials currently to the UK government for an undisclosed sum.

Westminster has also signed up for 30mln doses of the jab produced by Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) Belgian arm Janssen.

READ: Novavax to start human trials for Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Australia

Novavax is set to start late-stage clinical trials in collaboration with the UK National Institute for Health Research, while it is also planning to manufacture some of the vaccine at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’s facilities in England.

Janssen is making its jab available on a not-for-profit basis during the emergency pandemic to both the UK and the rest of the world.

If both go ahead as scheduled, they could be delivered in mid-2021.

Following the two new deals, the UK has grown its potential stockpile to 340mln inoculations, enough to give every resident five doses.

These include 100mln of the Oxford vaccine produced by AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN): 30mln of the mRNA formulation developed by Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX); 60mln doses of French firm Valneva's jab and 60mln of the candidate being made by GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) and French rival Sanofi.

Since not all candidates end up being successful, Britain is looking to make sure it has enough chances to immunise its population.

“The government's strategy to build a portfolio of promising vaccine candidates will ensure we have the best chance possible of finding one that works,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said.

“Today's agreements will not only benefit people in the UK but will ensure fair and equitable access of a vaccine around the world, potentially protecting hundreds of millions of lives.”

EU secures 300mln doses

The EU also signed a supply deal with AstraZeneca to buy at least 300mln doses of the Oxford vaccine on Friday.

It includes the option to purchase another 100mln jabs that would then be distributed to all 27 member states.

According to Reuters, it could come as a blow to the World Health Organisation and vaccine alliance GAVI in distributing the vaccine fairly across the world.

However, the EU said it could donate the jabs to poorer countries, which is what the WHO is looking to do.

The Commission previously criticised the organisation's initiative saying it would be too expensive and slow.

Latin America signs up for 400mln doses

Late on Thursday, AstraZeneca announced plans to make 400mln doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for Latin American countries in early 2021.

It would produce 150mln initially and expand to a total of 400mln, in collaboration with Argentinian and Mexican governments.

The region, with 650mln residents, has the highest number of cases and deaths, with Brazil and Mexico only after the US in terms of fatalities.

The pricing is not final yet but is not expected to be over US$4 per dose, Reuters reported.

The supply will be for every country except Brazil, which signed its own deal with the FTSE 100 company last month committing US$355mln.

The final phase of trials, conducted across the US, South Africa, England and Brazil are expected to end by December, to which will follow regulatory approvals.

--Adds EU deal update--

Quick facts: Novavax, Inc.

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