Fellow US vaccine maker Moderna is also racing to develop a one-shot vaccine for both COVID and the flu, with the company telling this masthead this week that the product could be made in its Melbourne manufacturing facility once it opens in 2024.
Dubovsky would not comment on whether Novavax’s product was more advanced in its development than Moderna’s at this stage, but said the industry was moving towards developing vaccines that target more than one respiratory virus at a time.
“We are in the position where we [think we] will get to annual boosting for COVID,” he said.
Current booster uptake figures around the world suggest that “people are getting tired of having to get re-vaccinated”, he said.
Australia has been focused on its sovereign vaccine manufacturing capability over the past two years, and is soon set to get two new manufacturing facilities. CSL is building at $800 million flu vaccine manufacturing facility at Tullamarine, while Moderna will set up an mRNA vaccine plant at a to-be-announced location in Melbourne.
Novavax is unlikely to join them as a local manufacturer, however, with Dubovsky confirming the company does not currently need any new production sites to meet demand for products.
“We can meet all global needs from the facilities we have right now.”
Instead, Australia looks set to become more of a research hub for the business.
Novavax’s product pipeline includes vaccines for malaria, ebola, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
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