GSK, Novavax and the UK Government Vaccines Taskforce have teamed up to support manufacture up to 60 million doses of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 in the UK.

Under the partnership, GSK will dedicate its Barnard Castle facility in northeast England for the fill and finish manufacturing of NVX-CoV2373, starting from May 2021.

A rapid technology transfer between GSK and Novavax is anticipated immediately, while the companies intend to discuss additional terms and conditions for a final agreement.

NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate, developed based on the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2.

NVX-CoV2373 has shown potential efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials, including against the B.1.1.7 variant circulating in the UK, said the company.

Novavax executive vice president and chief operations officer Rick Crowley said: “This partnership with GSK continues the expansion of our global supply network, which we expect to increase overall production capacity and, if approved by regulatory agencies, support access to a potentially important new vaccine against Covid-19.

“We thank the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce for its instrumental role in ensuring the progress of our Covid-19 vaccine, from both a clinical and now manufacturing perspective, as well as GSK for making their facilities available to help fight the pandemic.”

The UK Government has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine under an advance purchase agreement with Novavax.

Novavax, through its manufacturing partner Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, has already produced the adjuvant component of NVX-CoV2373 in northeast England.

The fill and finish operations offered by GSK will complete the manufacturing stage, followed by preparing vials of the final vaccine and packaging them for distribution and use.

GSK vaccines president Roger Connor said: “GSK is delighted to support Novavax and the UK Vaccines Taskforce with this manufacturing arrangement for the UK and our Barnard Castle facility is now undertaking the rapid preparation work required to manufacture up to 60m doses of this vaccine.

“We have ensured that we can deliver these volumes without impacting supply of our other vital medicines and vaccines, and without disruption, to the other Covid-19 collaborations GSK is engaged in globally.”

GSK stated that it is partnering with various global organisations, providing access to its adjuvant technology for use in Covid-19 vaccines manufacturing.

The company collaborated with Canada’s Medicago, France-based Sanofi, South Korea-based SK Bioscience and received funding from CEPI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of Covid-19 vaccines.

Furthermore, GSK has teamed up with Germany-based CureVac to co-develop next-generation, multi-valent mRNA vaccines for Covid-19.