Officials from Novavax, Inc., Montgomery County and the State of Maryland today celebrated the opening of Novavax’s new, state-of-the-art vaccine production facility at the company’s headquarters in Rockville. The 5,000 square-foot, $5 million pilot and commercial-scale manufacturing plant will be used to produce vaccines addressing a broad range of infectious diseases. The facility will initially supply influenza vaccine for the company’s current clinical-testing programs with capacity to eventually produce 10 million doses of commercial vaccine annually.
“The completion of this facility represents a major milestone for Novavax and a significant accomplishment for our development team,” said Novavax president and chief executive officer Rahul Singhvi, Ph.D. “It will be a model vaccine plant for production of all of our virus-like-particle-based vaccines and will serve as a prototype for other similar facilities globally through collaborators such as GE Healthcare. It incorporates new processes that are designed to increase production yields with significantly less infrastructure and capital cost compared to current approved vaccine facilities, and we could not have picked a better location to open this facility than here in Montgomery County, Maryland,” he added.
Unlike traditional egg-based vaccine production, which is expensive and can require large centralized manufacturing plants and complex infrastructure, the Novavax facility employs insect-cell-based technology and disposable manufacturing systems which require less production infrastructure and represent a simpler and potentially more efficient approach to vaccine production.
"I congratulate Novavax on the opening of this impressive facility and wish them continued success in developing innovative, vital vaccines to prevent infectious diseases such as influenza,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “We are very pleased to have Novavax headquartered in Montgomery County, as they are certainly one of our brightest, most promising biotechnology companies and we look forward to their continued growth and success.”
The novel methods being applied at Novavax’s new facility will enable the company to produce vaccines within twelve weeks of flu strain identification, which is less than half the time required by current manufacturers of approved vaccines. It should also enable the company to respond faster to seasonal or pandemic flu outbreaks once their vaccines are approved.
"Novavax's decision to relocate their corporate headquarters to Maryland and expand with this new state-of-the-art vaccine production facility is a tremendous win for both Montgomery County and the State of Maryland," said David W. Edgerley, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. "This new facility will not only build on Governor O'Malley's vision to strengthen our State's reputation as a bioscience powerhouse, but also puts Maryland on the forefront of disease control and prevention."
“Our production technology, which can be used to produce many types of vaccines in one facility, combined with our use of disposable materials, offer the potential advantage of easy portability of production equipment to sites around the world where vaccines may be urgently needed,” added Dr. Singhvi.
Novavax has four proprietary vaccine candidates in development addressing pandemic influenza, seasonal flu, varicella zoster and an undisclosed infectious disease target. The company’s lead vaccine candidate to prevent pandemic influenza is currently in Phase II clinical testing.
Novavax, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, creating novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide using advanced proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology. The Company produces these VLP based, highly potent, recombinant vaccines utilizing a new, efficient manufacturing solution.
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