Novavax, meanwhile, has begun construction of a new vaccine manufacturing center in India which will rely on its virus-like particle technology to produce 60 million doses a year.
The joint venture with Cadila Pharmaceuticals is planning a quick ramp-up, with manufacturing starting in just four months. Novavax announced just a few days ago that it is also partnering with Xcellerex to build a new manufacturing site in Mexico, where it is seeking government approval for its pandemic vaccine. And Novavax plans to ink more joint ventures around the world as it gears up to help satisfy a growing demand for vaccines.
"This new facility is being 100 percent supported financially by our partner, Cadila Pharmaceuticals," commented John Trizzino, senior vice president, international and government alliances for Novavax and interim CEO of the joint venture. "We anticipate creating sufficient capacity for CPL Biologicals to sell influenza vaccines in India and at the same time become a potential supplier to Novavax for sale of vaccines in other markets where Novavax maintains complete commercial rights. We believe this model will show how an efficient and scalable vaccine platform can help address the growing demand for pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines."
Back in early September, Novavax Chief Executive Rahul Singhvi caused a stir when he said that his company was in talks with a half-dozen countries interested in using its technology to make vaccine. Many countries are still scrambling to get their hands on enough swine flu vaccine to protect their populations from the pandemic. VLPs mimic a flu virus, making it possible to set up manufacturing operations that are far more efficient than the egg-based system that still supplies much of the world.