The Anonymous Widower

GSK To Manufacture 60m Doses Of Novavax Covid Vaccine In UK

The title of this post is the same as that as this article in the Financial Times.

As the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, that is enough for thirty million people.

Wikipedia gives brief details of the the manufacturing of the vaccine for Canada and the UK in this section entitled Deployment.

On 2 February 2021, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada has signed a tentative agreement for Novavax to produce millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Montreal, Canada, once it is approved for use by Health Canada, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine to be produced domestically.

On 29th March 2021, the UK government announced an order for 60 million doses of the Novax vaccine, which will be manufactured in the UK. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and GlaxoSmithKline will manufacture and fill the orders respectively.

This Google Map shows Barnard Castle in relation to Teesside.

Note.

  • The red arrow in the South-West corner of the map indicates the GSK factory at Barnard Castle.
  • Teesside is the estuary at the Eastern edge of the map.
  • FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies are located in Billingham, which is on the North bank of the Tees.

The two sites are under an hour apart.

This page on the UK Government web site gives details of the vaccines ordered.

  • Adenovirus – Oxford/AstraZeneca –  100 million – Approved and in deployment
    Adenovirus – Janssen – 30 million – Phase 3 trials
    mRNA – Pfizer/BioNTech – 40 million – Approved and in deployment
    mRNA – Moderna – 17 million – Approved
    Protein Adjuvant – GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi Pasteur – 60 million – Phase 1/2 trials
    Protein Adjuvant – Novavax 60 million – Phase 3 trials
    Inactivated whole virus – Valneva – 60 million – Phase 1/2 trials

Note.

  1. Type, manufacturer, number and status are shown for each vaccine.
  2. This is a total of 567 million doses.

It looks to me, that backing four different technologies and seven different partnerships or companies was a successful strategy, as if the Novavax vaccine get approval, as serious commentators like Fergus Walsh of the BBC, think it will, picking four winners in a seven horse race.

GlaxoSmithKline appear to be a big loser in that they backed the French Sanofi Pasteur vaccine, which is still in Phase 1/2 trials. Wikipedia has a section entitled Deployment.

In July 2020, the UK government signed up for 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by GSK and Sanofi. It uses a recombinant protein-based technology from Sanofi and GSK’s pandemic technology. The companies claimed to be able to produce one billion doses, subject to successful trials and regulatory approval, during the first half of 2021. The company also agreed to a $2.1 billion deal with the United States to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Someone appears to have lost billions.

I wonder though, if GSK had developed a plan to fill and finish the sixty million doses for the UK.

So have the fixers in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) matched  FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies vaccine manufacturing to GSK’s fill and finish plan to give Novavax a 60 million dose capacity in the UK?

  • Both vaccines are of the same type, so can one fill and finish line handle both?
  • The Novavax vaccine was trialled in the UK.
  • Supplying Europe from Teesside would not be difficult.

Wikipedia seems to indicate, that Novavax like to spread production around. Spain, India and Poland are mentioned.

Conclusion

Every one of sixty million jabs helps.

President Macron was unavailable for comment.

March 29, 2021 - Posted by | Health | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Not only is it being produced in Canada but it’s being produced in Montreal which is French part of Canada.

    I reckon AstraZeneca vaccine should have been called Oxford vaccine!

    Interesting that French backed their own vaccine which has failed to deliver when I suppose they thought they could have cornered the market in the EU with it and may explain French attitude towards other covid vaccines

    Comment by Melvyn | March 29, 2021 | Reply


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