Under a $13.5 million contract, Bavarian Nordic A/S announced this week that it would provide supplies of its IMVANEX smallpox vaccine to three European governments in the first half of 2021.
“We are pleased to expand our sales of smallpox vaccines to other countries,” Paul Chaplin, president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said. “In times of a pandemic, the global and national priorities and efforts are clearly directed towards fighting COVID-19, however, the fundamental work to strengthen the biological preparedness remains, and these new contracts are result of our long-term commitment and work with governments to reinforce their preparedness.”
IMVANEX is the only non-replicating smallpox vaccine approved by the European Union. It is manufactured at Bavarian Nordic’s Denmark-based commercial-scale facility. While it has been traditionally finished through a contract manufacturer, Bavarian Nordic intends to complete its own fill and finish facility as part of an expansion to meet countries’ needs. That facility is expected to begin commercial manufacturing this year, pending final validation and qualification.
JYNNEOS, the U.S. trade name for IMVANEX, will be the first product on the new facility’s line. However, the facility also houses lyophilization capabilities — a water removal process used to extend the shelf life of perishable materials. A freeze-dried version of the smallpox vaccine is currently in its final development stages at the facility and could be manufactured there in 2022.
Further expansion of the facility is ongoing to allow for the simultaneous bulk manufacturing of multiple products.