Novavax gets attention from Bill & Melinda Gates researchers

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax has signed a three-year agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to make its vaccine adjuvant available for use in pre-clinical vaccine research.

Its Matrix-M adjuvant is the basis for its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, and is being used in development of new influenza and combination influenza-COVID vaccines. An adjuvant is an ingredient in some vaccines to help create a stronger immune response.

Novavax recently reported positive results in Phase 2 human trials for the combination vaccine.

“We are excited to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to include our unique technology in their public health-focused vaccine research efforts,” said Novavax chief executive John Jacobs.

“Our Matrix-M adjuvant is proven to enhance and broaden the immune system response when included in vaccines and is already a key component of COVID and malaria vaccines on the market today.”

Last month, Novavax announced cost-cutting plans to reduce expenses by 40% to 50% this year, including cutting about 20% of its global workforce, or about 400 jobs.

In February, Novavax secured a new deal to sell the U.S. government another 1.5 million doses of its protein-based COVID vaccine, ahead of vaccine privatization later this year.

Novavax began developing its COVID vaccine in 2020 with government funding, but the vaccine did not received final emergency-use approval until July 2022.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is an affiliate of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is currently focused on programs addressing global diseases such as TB, malaria, diarrheal, and maternal, newborn and child illnesses.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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