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Novavax pushes timeline to hit production

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Illustrative vial of coronavirus vaccine

Owing to supply shortages, Novavax has pushed back the timeline to start production with a target of 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses per month. Previously, the company said that it would hit production by mid May.

Novavax communications director Amy Speak was quoted as saying, “We’re continuing to refine that timing as we get closer, which now leads us to think we’re online/at full capacity by Q3.”

According to known sources, the shortage in supply of bioreactor bags and filters are reasons for the delay.

Novavax could receive UK regulatory authorization for its vaccine as early as this month after releasing impressive UK trial data. It anticipates clearance in the US could come as early as May after soon-to-be released data from its US vaccine trial are reviewed by regulators.

The company is one of several COVID-19 vaccine makers that have had to push back production timelines due to industry-wide shortages of raw materials and difficulties getting plants up and running.

Novavax had delayed a planned deal to ship at least 100 million doses of its two-shot vaccine to the European Union, in part because of supply challenges.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is based on a SARS-CoV-2 protein-subunit antigen and a proprietary adjuvant.

Data released in March from the UK trial showed the vaccine to be highly effective against the original strain of the novel coronavirus, with 90 per cent overall efficacy against disease, as well as 86 per cent efficacy against the more contagious variant B.1.1.7 first discovered in Britain and now rampant in Europe and the United States.

The data also suggests the shot provides some protection against a highly concerning variant that emerged in South Africa, which some drugmakers have said may require a booster shot to address.

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