South Korean company SK Bioscience has extended its partnership with Novavax, Inc., a U.S. biotechnology company specializing in next-generation vaccines, for the manufacturing and supply of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine targeting Omicron variants in prefilled syringes.
SK Bioscience and Novavax signed an agreement for the technology transfer of Novavax proprietary COVID-19 variant antigen materials and manufacturing drug substance targeting COVID-19 variants including Omicron BA.5 subvariant in response to the recent spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants.
In addition, SK Bioscience and Novavax have signed an agreement to manufacture and supply the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in prefilled syringes already loaded with the vaccine for injection. SK Bioscience will prepare the manufacturing process this year for commercial supply of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in prefilled syringes in 2023.
Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO of Novavax, said, “Clinical data generated to-date demonstrate that the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine offers broad immune responses including against circulating variants, such as the Omicron BA.5. We are accelerating our clinical program on Omicron BA.5 and look forward to working with SK bioscience to bring this vaccine to market.”
Vaccine in Q4
Preclinical data on Omicron BA.5 will be available in the late summer or fall, with an Omicron-containing vaccine available by Q4 of this year.
Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK Bioscience, said: “We will play a role as a global vaccine hub through the contracts in a situation where new vaccines against variants are required. We will take the lead in protecting public health as an innovative vaccine/bio partner based on the cooperation with various global companies, as well as developing diverse vaccines independently.”
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is the fifth vaccine officially approved in S. Korea, and recently became the fourth vaccine to receive emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Novavax has just been given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its adjuvanted, protein-based COVID-19 shot.
This marks the U.S.’s fourth COVID-19 vaccine, following those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Earlier this week, the U.S. government secured 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.