US-based vaccine development company Novavax has partnered with AGC Biologics, a global biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO).

The partnership is aimed at GMP production of Matrix-M, a critical component of Novavax’ coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373.

NVX-CoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein designed by Novavax, leveraging its original nanoparticle technology, to work against SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19.

Novavax is a late-stage biotechnology company engaged in discovery, development, and commercialisation of advanced vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases.

Novavax process technology SVP Timothy J Hahn said: “We have been impressed with AGC Biologics’ level of collaboration and commitment.

“They are an important strategic partner in expanding our supply chain of adjuvant for NVX-CoV2373 and for other vaccines being developed at Novavax, including our recombinant seasonal influenza vaccine, NanoFlu.”

AGC Biologics will manufacture Matrix-M, the adjuvant component of the vaccine

Under the partnership, AGC Biologics will manufacture Matrix-M, the adjuvant component of the vaccine which enhances the immune response and stimulates high levels of neutralising antibodies.

In addition, the company is responsible for optimising process development to scale-up the production of Matrix-M and enhance the dose delivery capacity for Novavax in 2020 and 2021.

AGC Biologics is engaged in providing industry expertise and customised services for the scale-up and cGMP manufacture of protein-based therapeutics.

The company offers integrated services including plasmid (GMP pDNA) manufacturing, cell line development, bioprocess development, formulation, analytical testing, antibody drug development and conjugation, cell banking and storage and protein expression.

AGC Biologics CEO Patricio Massera said: “We are quickly ramping up to successfully deliver this vital vaccine component to Novavax. The urgency to help produce a vaccine to combat COVID-19 could not be higher.”

AGC Biologics CBO Mark Womack said: “AGC Biologics’ mission is to work side-by-side with our partners to produce life-saving and extending products. Partnering with Novavax to manufacture this vaccine component is an amazing opportunity to make a profoundly positive difference.”