Novavax secures $4M from CEPI for COVID-19 vaccine

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The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will provide $4 million to Novavax to fund development of a COVID-19 vaccine program.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) is developing a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine. The CEPI funding will cover some costs of preparing for a Phase I trial, CEPI and Novavax said.

CEPI, which has invested in six COVID-19 vaccine programs, is seeking $2 billion to fund development of three to six vaccines through Phase II/III trials (see “CEPI Says $2B Needed for Vaccine Development”).

Novavax will need additional external funding to get one or more vaccine candidates through Phase I.

“CEPI and Novavax are having ongoing discussions on additional funding from CEPI to address Novavax’s costs through Phase I,” Novavax President and CEO Stanley Erck told BioCentury.

The company is also seeking support from the U.S. government.

Erck asked President Donald Trump for funding at a White House meeting on March 3. “Frankly, we need money," Erck told Trump. "We're a biotech company, and not one of the larger pharma companies, so we need money to get scale.”

Trump responded by suggesting that Novavax work with other companies.

Also on Tuesday, Novavax said it has entered into an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. (NYSE:EBS) to supply Novavax with vaccine product for preclinical testing and for use in a Phase I trial.

Further analysis of the coronavirus crisis can be found at https://www.biocentury.com/coronavirus.

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