With a phase 3 data readout on its COVID-19 vaccine looming, Novavax has already started stockpiling doses ahead of an authorization. Now, thanks to a fresh manufacturing tie-up, the company’s ex-U.S. supplies just got a little more secure.

Novavax tapped Baxter BioPharma Solutions to handle commercial-scale vaccine manufacturing at its facility in Halle, Germany. Once production work kicks off, Baxter will be on deck to crank out supplies for the European and U.K. markets, the companies said.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based CMO will tackle fill-finish work on Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle adjuvanted vaccine, a Novavax spokeswoman said via email. The company’s candidate, NVX-CoC2373, is still in phase 3, though it’s eyeing a phase 3 data readout sometime during the first quarter.

Back in August, Novavax was already setting lofty production goals. On a conference call, Chief Medical Officer Filip Dubovsky, M.D., said the company expected to be able to make “well over a couple billion units” each year, beginning in 2021. That’s more than enough for the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based biotech to single-handedly meet U.S. demand, which Dubovsky pegged at around 500 million to 600 million doses annually.

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