Polish firm teams up with US pharmaceutical company to start producing coronavirus vaccine
A Polish biotech company is to begin manufacturing a Covid-19 vaccine under licence with US pharmaceutical firm Novavax.
Mabion from Konstantynów Łódzki in central Poland said it had signed a deal with the US company for the ‘transfer of technology and technological trials in the manufacture of an antigen for Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine’, which is yet to be approved by the EU's medical agency.
The Novavax vaccine is a traditional vaccine, not based on the mRNA technology with which Pfizer and Moderna were produced, and contains a modified protein fragment of the coronavirus.
On January 27, Novavax reported that the vaccine had tested 89.3 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 and was almost as effective in protecting against the more infectious UK variant.
Novavax is currently carrying out phase III clinical trials of its preparation.
The European Medicines Agency, which has so far approved the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneki vaccines on the EU market, is currently evaluating the results of the Novavax vaccine trials, which are at the moment in phase III of its clinical trials.
The state-owned Polish Development Fund (PFR) said will offer PLN 40 mln (EUR 8.8 mln) to increase Mabion's capacity.
Pawel Borys, head of the PFR, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated the importance of a strong biotechnology industry for health security.
“For several years, we have been involved in investments of Polish companies in this area as part of the PFR Life Science program.
“Companies that can now provide vaccines or drugs against COVID-19 are especially important today. Therefore, PFR will finance the production of Novavax vaccines by Mabion, which is the first Polish company to be actively involved in the production of vaccines against COVID-19.”
He added that the "technology transfer (will take place) in the 2nd quarter. Poland will join a group of countries manufacturing a Covid-19 vaccine.”
Set up in 2007, Mabion focuses on the development and implementation of new generation biotech drugs.