Biotech & Health

Gaithersburg’s Novavax Wins Approval in South Korea for COVID-19 Vaccine

MBS Staff

Image: NIAID/NIH

One of the Washington, D.C. area’s largest biotech companies won an important approval from the South Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for its Protein-based COVID-19 vaccine. 

Through its partnership with South Korea-based SK bioscience, Gaithersburg-based Novavax would supply 40 million doses of its vaccine to the South Korean population. The advance purchase agreement was announced back in February 2021. 

"Novavax is proud to bring our COVID-19 vaccine to South Korea at a critical time in the pandemic as both the Delta and Omicron variants have taken hold," said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. 

"We thank our partners at SK bioscience for their commitment to this public health challenge and the MFDS for its thorough assessment of our data as we look forward to helping address major obstacles to controlling the pandemic through the additional option of our protein-based vaccine." 

The approval with South Korea is important on several fronts. It’s the first Protein-based COVID-19 vaccine available in the Country and is an alternative to mRNA vaccines that have shown waning effectiveness, especially against variants as well as requiring more frequent injections. 

The license agreement with SK Bioscience created an additional manufacturing base outside Novavax’s partnership with the Serum Institute of India. In December, SK Bioscience reserved significant additional manufacturing capacity to produce the antigen that is a key component of NVX-CoV2373, the non-marketed name for Novavax’s vaccine. The agreement will last through 2022, with the possibility of extending the arrangement