Novartis has entered an initial agreement to manufacture the mRNA and bulk drug product for CureVac’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV.
The arrangements for initiating production, technology transfer and test runs are progressing.
Production will be conducted in a novel high-tech facility under construction at Novartis Kundl, Austria.
Following the final agreement, Novartis anticipates the production’s launch in the second quarter of this year. The company intends to produce up to 50 million doses of the mRNA and bulk drug product for the vaccine this year and up to a further 200 million doses next year.
CureVac will receive the initial deliveries of the bulk drug product this year for further processing and filling.
Novartis Technical Operations (NTO) global head and Novartis executive committee member Steffen Lang said: “At the Kundl site, Novartis is a pioneer and has decades of experience in pharmaceutical production of proteins and, in more recent years, of nucleic acids.
“We are currently expanding our site with additional capacities for the production of mRNA in order to best serve the increasing demand.”
Novartis earlier signed an initial agreement to support Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine production by leveraging its manufacturing capacity and capabilities for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
On another note, Moderna and IBM have announced a plan to collaborate on the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain and distribution data sharing.
The companies intend to explore technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid Cloud to support smarter Covid-19 vaccine management.
A pilot of open, standardised, technology-enabled vaccine distribution methods to enhance supply chain visibility and the advancement of near real-time monitoring of vaccine administration will be central to the partnership.
The objective is to detect using technology for expediting secure information sharing between governments, healthcare providers, life science organisations and people.
Meanwhile, GC Pharma has extended support to Moderna for distributing 40 million doses of the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate in South Korea.
The latest development will help the Government of the Republic of Korea deliver vaccines to the public promptly, subject to local regulatory approvals.