The Canadian government announced Monday a deal with American biotech firm Novavax for 76 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in development, if it proves to be effective against the new coronavirus.
The NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate its safety and immunogenicity, could be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, Ottawa and the company said in a joint statement.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the deal "will give Canadians access to a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate."
The deal comes as the US government granted Novavax US$1.6 billion to help fund development and manufacture of the vaccine, giving the US priority for the first 100 million doses.
Maryland-based biotech Novavax has already signed partnership or vaccine delivery agreements with Britain, Japan and India.
Canada, meanwhile, has also concluded agreements with Pfizer and Moderna for deliveries of millions of doses of their experimental vaccines, now in Phase 3 trials -- among the most advanced.
Early tests showed Novavax's vaccine candidate was "generally well-tolerated" and elicited a "robust antibody responses," Novavax said.
"We are moving forward with clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our quest to deliver a vaccine to protect the world," said company president Stanley Erck.
As of Monday, Canada reported nearly 128,000 cases of Covid-19 and some 9,150 deaths.