Not long after it was reported by the New York Times that five companies were selected by President Trump to participate in Operation Warp Speed (and Novavax wasn’t one of them). Gaithersburg-based Novavax drops some big, late-breaking news that it won a multi-million dollar contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) to produce its COVID-19 vaccine in large quantities.
Operation Warp Speed calls for the production of 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by January. Selected companies would get support from the Federal Government including financial and logistical assistance.
One possible reason Novavax received a nod from the DoD is that unlike some its competitors its vaccines don’t need to be shipped or stored frozen. That requirement can lead to multiple large storage locker facilities in use and inflate the vaccine’s total cost.
The DoD contract awards Novavax $60 million to produce 10 million doses to be delivered sometime in 2020. The involvement of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Enabling Biotechnologies (JPEO-CBRND-EB) organization and its need for Novavax’s NVX‑CoV2373 vaccine is another surprise boost for the companies overall value.
The biotech’s stock price could reach another record high in today’s trading session. No other recognized COVID-19 vaccine developer released a similar announcement.