Bavarian Nordic locks up $120M BARDA deal to replenish US stock of smallpox, mpox vaccine

After coming to the rescue during the mpox outbreak in 2022, vaccine maker Bavarian Nordic has agreed to help replenish U.S. stores of its smallpox/mpox shot.

The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is handing Bavarian Nordic a new $120 million contract, primarily to cover the production of new bulk vaccine product, the company said in a press release Thursday.

The bulk product order represents $96 million of the contract value. That portion will be manufactured and invoiced in 2023 and will “only partly restore the inventory,” Bavarian Nordic said.

Bavarian Nordic will also manufacture and supply an additional $3 million worth of liquid-frozen doses in 2023. The rest of the contract will cover “additional services” totaling $21 million, with Bavarian Nordic getting its hands on most of that sum over the next two years.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Bavarian Nordic says it's manufactured around 5.5 million smallpox/mpox vaccine doses for the U.S. government. Still, replenishment of bulk inventory is “necessary to fulfill the company’s long-term commitment to deliver a freeze-dried version of the vaccine for U.S. smallpox preparedness," according to the company.

In light of the new BARDA order—plus other “minor” mpox vaccine orders, expected savings from a discontinued RSV program and the acquisition of a clutch of travel vaccines from Emergent BioSolutions—Bavarian Nordic is boosting its financial forecast for the year. The company now expects to bring home 6.9 billion Danish kroner (about $882 million), up from a previous estimate of 6 billion Danish kroner.

Last year, Bavarian Nordic locked up successive supply deals for its smallpox and mpox shot Jynneos with governments around the world. Bavarian Nordic’s contribution proved so significant that Time magazine named Jynneos one of the best inventions of the year after it was used to help curb a surge of mpox, the virus formerly known as monkeypox.

The company has largely carried that momentum into 2023. Looking to boost its immunization offerings, Bavarian Nordic in February gave Emergent an upfront payment of $270 million for the Baltimore-based company’s typhoid fever vaccine Vivotif and its cholera shot Vaxchora, alongside the late-stage chikungunya candidate CHIKV VLP.

Meanwhile, in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) debuted real-world data for Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos, urging people at risk of mpox to take two shots.

Jynneos, given in two doses, is estimated to be 85.9% effective against mpox, a real-world case-match study conducted in 12 U.S. jurisdictions showed. At one dose, the vaccine was found to be 75.2% effective.

As of Aug. 1, 1.25 million Jynneos vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S., according to the CDC.