LG to build VLP vaccine site in S Korea using Novavax tech

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Influenza vaccine Vaccine

LG Life Sciences is to build an influenza vaccine production facility in South Korea after licensing technology from Novavax.

Construction of a 30m dose a year production facility in Osong, South Korea strengthens LGLS’ vaccine capabilities and continues the spread of Novavax technology. Licensing the virus-like-particle (VLP) technology to LGLS follows the Indian joint venture with Cadila Pharmaceuticals.

LGLS will help us advance our technology in Korea and other countries, consistent with our commercial strategy of developing regional partnerships and in-country manufacturing solutions with leading pharmaceutical companies around the world​", said Rahul Singhvi, CEO of Novavax.

VLP technology transfer and manufacturing support will be provided by Novavax to help LGLS set up the vaccine plant. With a capacity of 30m doses the site should be able to serve South Korea, a 15m dose market according to LGLS, and other countries covered by the license.

We anticipate that Novavax and LGLS together will make significant achievements in the field of influenza vaccines with our technology, expertise and combined resources​", said Iljae Jung, CEO and President of LGLS.

For granting LGLS an exclusive license to use the VLP technology in South Korea, and on a non-exclusive basis in certain emerging markets, Novavax will receive upfront and milestone payments. Novavax will also receive double-digit royalty rate payments from commercial sales.

Shares surge on HHS contract

Shortly before news of the LGLS deal the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released details of a vaccine technology contract with Novavax. The contract, worth $97m (€70m) over the first three years, will see Novavax develop insect cell vaccine production technology.

Extension of the contract by two years could see its total value rise to $179.1m. Development of the technology will further plans, detailed in recent documents​, to equip the US with seasonal and pandemic flu vaccine production capacity. Novavax shares rose by 38 per cent after hours.

The HHS also awarded a contract, worth $196.6m if extended, to VaxInnate for development of a recombinant vaccine technology based on combining influenza and bacteria proteins. Combining the proteins is intended to stimulate a strong immune response.

VaxInnate and Novavax will conduct clinical safety testing and efficacy studies of their respective technologies. Manufacturing process optimisation and validation will also be performed in anticipation of obtaining licenses from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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