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Bavarian Nordic, a Danish biotech, has continued its partnership with the US government by agreeing a $539 million deal to deliver smallpox vaccines.
The partnership between Bavarian Nordic will see it provide the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) with a freeze-dried formulation of the vaccine.
The company revealed that the US government is planning on stockpiling 132 million doses of the new formulation for the event of an outbreak. It is the third deal struck between the biotech and the US, with the total of previous deals raising $233 million.
The US will provide $100 million up-front, and the company has announced that it plans on investing $75 million over the coming years to construct a fill/finish manufacturing plant in Denmark. This will see the biotech be able to complete all stages of manufacturing process, as well as allowing the company the potential to provide this service to other companies.
The new formulation of the vaccine means that it can be stored safely for more than five years, as well as allowing significant reduction in the cost of shipping and storage compared with previous liquid-frozen formulations.
“We are proud to be part of a long-standing and successful partnership with BARDA and this latest contract starts a new chapter, as we supply an improved formulation of our vaccine as part of the U.S. government commitment to protect the nation from a smallpox outbreak”, said Paul Chaplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bavarian Nordic. “Our latest strategic investment that will expand our manufacturing capacities will add value, not only to our partnerships, but also to our proprietary pipeline.”
It was also revealed that Bavarian Nordic expects to see further such deals in the future, as the US looks to continue stockpiling the vaccine.
The deal is a considerable boost to the company after it suffered a major setback when its cancer vaccine recently hit the wall. The six-year-long Phase 3 study into CV-301 was shuttered after final interim analysis revealed that the vaccine was not successful.
The hit to its pipeline slashed its share price by close to half, a figure that has recovered slightly since but still remains down 34% on its price prior to the release of the news.