Biotech & Health

COVID-19: Gaithersburg’s Novavax Spends Millions To Purchase Czech Republic Company; Gains Manufacturing Facility

MBS Staff

Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) has a stock price and market value at levels not seen in years, the Gaithersburg-based company has been making headline news all over the world and breaking records. That’s in large part due to recent funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

More than a good faith gesture CEPI gave a whopping $388 million to Novavax to develop a COVID-19 vacine; a record funding amount from CEPI. It also set out to raise cash through stock issuance with the goal of bringing in $250 million.

Novavax decided to take on COVID-19 by developing its own vaccine called NVX‑CoV2373 and now flush with cash the company is making strategic investments. The latest being the purchase of a Czech Republic firm with manufacturing capacity to make 1 billion doses of NVX‑CoV2373 if approved.

“Manufacturing capacity is a critical component of our strategy to deliver a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax. “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.”

Called Praha Vaccines the Bohumil, Czech Republic-based company, previously part of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, was purchased by Novavax in an all-cash deal totaling $167 million

The facility Novavax acquired as part of the deal is 150,000 square feet and is state of the art with Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) capabilities according to the biotech company. By the end of 2020, Novavax expects production levels to increase significantly as it works with the Cyrus Poonawalla Group’s Serum Institute of India (SII) to ccomplish that goal.