Gaithersburg, Md.-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc. and Canadian vaccine company Providence Therapeutics said on Tuesday they have entered into a $90 million, five-year development and manufacturing agreement to support Providence’s COVID-19 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate.
Already collaborators since February, the agreement expands the partnership between the two companies by guaranteeing Providence access to Emergent’s development services, bulk drug substance formulas and drug product manufacturing. Next year Emergent intends to produce tens of millions of doses of the vaccine drug product known as PTX-COVID19-B and batches of PTX-COVID19-B formulated bulk drug substance through its Winnipeg, Canada, facility for global use during the pandemic. Emergent added in a statement that the potential also exists for it to produce hundreds of millions more doses of the vaccine candidate under the agreement.
“Emergent’s commitment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is anchored in our partnerships with innovators who share the same mission to address public health threats around the world,” Adam Havey, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Emergent BioSolutions, said. “This collaboration is a testament to Emergent’s long heritage and experience in Canada. We are proud that Providence has chosen our Winnipeg team and site to manufacture its Canadian mRNA technology in Western Canada, one of the few facilities in the country manufacturing large quantities of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses today.”
The vaccine candidate has passed Phase 1 testing and demonstrated efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and several of its variants, including Alpha, Beta and Delta. It is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 human clinical trial which will focus on safety and immunogenicity among 525 subjects.
Under the new arrangement, additional process and analytical development services also will be provided to Providence from Emergent’s Center of Excellence for Development Services in Gaithersburg.
“We look forward to working side-by-side with Emergent to deliver tens of millions, and potentially hundreds of millions of doses of our world-class vaccine to developing countries across the globe,” Brad Sorenson, Providence CEO, said. “It has always been Providence’s mission to produce the highest quality medicines at affordable prices, and with Emergent’s help we are closer to achieving this goal.”
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