Polish biotech firm to produce Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine

The Polish biotechnology company Mabion has signed a preliminary agreement with U.S. drugmaker Novavax to produce its COVID-19 vaccine, Mabion announced on Wednesday.

The agreement is the latest sign of Poland’s effort to increase the sourcing of additional vaccines, following delivery issues of the vaccines purchased by the European Union. The Polish Development Fund, a state-owned financial group, has provided Mabion with 40 million Polish zloty (10.6 million U.S. dollars) in loans and equity to double the capacity of its production plants.

The European Commission completed initial negotiations with Novavax in December to purchase a total of 100 million doses with an option for an additional 100 million. Novavax’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 showed 89.3 percent efficacy in its Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in the United Kingdom, the drugmaker announced in late January.

Poland recorded 15,698 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the total to 1,735,406 since the start of the pandemic in March last year. To date, 44,360 Poles have died of the disease. Close to 3.5 million people have been vaccinated in the country of 38 million. As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines. Meanwhile, 258 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 76 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday.