Novavax has opened a vaccine production facility at its headquarters in Rockville, MD. The 5,000 sq. ft., $5 million pilot- and commercial-scale manufacturing plant will be dedicated to infectious disease vaccines. The site will initially supply an influenza vaccine for ongoing clinical programs with planned annual capacity of 10 million doses.
Unlike traditional egg-based vaccine production, Novavax reports that its facility employs cell-based technology and disposable manufacturing systems. The company expects that its manufacturing techniques will produce vaccines within 12 weeks of flu-strain identification. This is less than half the time required by current manufacturers of approved vaccines, according to Novavax.
Novavax says that it has four vaccines in development addressing pandemic influenza, seasonal flu, varicella zoster, and an undisclosed infectious disease target. The pandemic flu candidate is in Phase II testing.
“This facility is seen as a model vaccine plant for production of all of our virus-like-particle-based vaccines,” says Novavax president and CEO Rahul Singhvi. “It incorporates new processes that are designed to increase production yields with significantly less infrastructure and capital cost compared to current approved vaccine facilities. Our production technology, which can be used to produce many types of vaccines in a single facility, combined with our use of disposable materials offer the potential advantage of simple portability of production equipment to sites around the world where vaccines may be urgently needed.”