Maryland-based biotechnology company Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) has acquired Praha Vaccines, a biologics manufacturer located in the Czech Republic, for approximately $167 million from the Cyrus Poonawalla Group.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax Stanley Erck stated, “Manufacturing capacity is a critical component of our strategy to deliver a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic. This acquisition provides the vital assets required to produce more than 1 billion doses per year.”
“In parallel with ramping up production at Bohumil, we will continue efforts to expand antigen capacity in the U.S. and Asia, and increase production of Matrix-M to match antigen capacity at multiple sites globally,” Mr. Erck continued.
The 150,000 square foot state-of-the-art Praha Vaccines facility is thought to be capable of producing over over 1 billion doses of vaccine antigen per year for Novavax’s vaccine candidate NVX‑CoV2373.
The acquisition includes the transition of 150 employees at the facility “with significant experience in vaccine manufacturing and support” to Novavax’s team.
The purchase was supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which granted Novavax funding of up to $384 million to support the development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
“We believe Novavax and Praha reflect the ideal complement of capabilities and expertise to advance innovative vaccines that are vitally needed at this critical time,” stated Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman and Founder of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group.
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“We are confident that the technologies and employees are in good hands and look forward to continuing our collaborations with Novavax,” Cyrus Poonawalla continued.
This news follows the advancement of Novavax’s vaccine candidate to phase 1/2 human clinical trials.