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Novavax To Acquire Indian Vaccine Plant To Produce 1 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Novavax To Acquire Indian Vaccine Plant To Produce 1 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
With the aim of manufacturing up to 1 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate next year, the United States based Novavax Inc is set to purchasing a manufacturing plant from privately held Serum Institute of India which is the largest maker of vaccines by volume in the world.
Czech Republic-based Praha Vaccines, a unit of India’s Cyrus Poonawalla Group, which is also the owner of the Serum Institute, will be acquired in a deal worth $167 million in cash, said the US company on Wednesday.
Novavax is among a host of companies that are currently engaged in the process of development of a vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Currently there are no treatments or vaccines for the disease which has so far killed more than 350,000 people all across the world.
While experts have predicted that any form of vaccine will likely take at between 12 to 18 months for development and to be available in the market, world leaders are of the opinion that vaccines are the only real way that it would be possible to bring covid-19 under control and to restart their economies that have been stalled because of months of lockdowns imposed by countries all across the world to try and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Last week, after it was revealed that at least one third of the first batch of 1 billion doses of an experimental vaccine against Covid-19 being developed by AstraZeneca had been secured by the United States, there were fears that the richest countries will have a stark advantage of securing or protecting their citizens for with a vaccine against Covid-19 once a vaccine is developed.
Its first participant in an early stage study testing the vaccine candidate in humans was enrolled by Novavax on Tuesday.
Currently, human trials were ongoing for 10 experimental vaccines which include the Novavax compound, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Groups including CanSino, Moderna and an alliance between Oxford University and AstraZeneca are in various stages of development of a safe and effective vaccine.
If this deal of Novavax goes through, it would result in an annual capacity of production of more than 1 billion doses of antigen beginning in 2021 for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373.
Shares of Novavax, which has no drug on the market, were down 9% in early trading. The stock had risen more than 1,000% in 2020 through Tuesday close.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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