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Emergent BioSolutions Collaborates for Coronavirus Vaccine

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS - Free Report) announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Novavax, Inc. (NVAX - Free Report) to support the latter’s development of a vaccine candidate to protect against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Per the terms of the agreement, Emergent BioSolutions will use its contract development and manufacturing (“CDMO”) services to advance Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate into clinical stage.

Emergent BioSolutions is responsible for production of the vaccine candidate, which was developed using Novavax’s proprietary technology platform. Emergent BioSolutions has started preparations for this program and anticipates that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate can be used in a phase I study within next four months. Financial terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed.

Emergent BioSolutions offers CDMO services to several pharma and biotech companies as well as government agencies and non-government organizations. The company expects its past experience and broad countermeasure capabilities for emerging infectious diseases to support faster development of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine. Apart from CDMO services for such vaccines, the company is also focused on evaluating various vaccines and therapies to contain the risk of the deadly coronavirus.

In the past year, shares of Emergent BioSolutions have increased 1.7% against the industry’s decline of 12.4%.

 

We note that COVID-19 has already infected more than 118,000 people and the death toll has crossed 4,200, globally. In the United States, the virus has infected more than 1,000 people and claimed 28 lives. Although new cases of coronavirus have significantly dropped in China, the epicenter of the outbreak, the infection is spreading rapidly in other countries. Cases of coronavirus infection in Italy, Iran and South Korea have risen to 10,149, 8,042 and 7,755, respectively, per the latest update in a Bloomberg article.

Several pharma/biotech companies are actively engaged in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 including Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) and J&J (JNJ - Free Report) . With the risk of global coronavirus outbreak rising, faster development of vaccines is the need of the hour. Although several companies are developing a cure, none of these vaccines are expected to be available before a year’s time. In this context, U.S. President Donald Trump encouraged executives to shorten the timelines for bringing a vaccine to market while keeping safety in mind. Trump urged pharmaceutical companies to collaborate to speed up work on developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Please note that accelerated development of COVID-19 vaccine will help save more lives across the globe. Moreover, it will also help to stop the onslaught of this virus on economic growth which seems to be slowly falling into a recession phase with supply and demand of various products getting affected.

Zacks Rank

Emergent BioSolutions currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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