The National Horizons Centre at Teeside University has welcomed the news that it will be playing a ‘major role’ in the development of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. 60 million doses of the vaccine will be manufactured in Stockton-on-Tees by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) with the National Horizons Centre developing the skills capacity within the region to meet this demand.
According to Newcastle Magazine, it was announced on Friday 29 January that the clinical trials of Novavax showed an 89 per cent efficacy in fighting COVID-19 and a licence to administer the vaccine is likely to be granted in the next few weeks, with production starting at around the same time.
The National Horizons Centre is a £22.3 million national centre of excellence for the life science industries, and already has a working partnership with FDB.
Based at Teesside University’s Central Park campus in Darlington, the centre has developed a bespoke training course for FDB staff, which looks at the latest development in biologics and teaches the necessary skills to carry out process development and manufacturing of vaccines.
Alongside, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), the National Horizons Centre has also partnered with FDB in the Northern Bio-accelerator Partnership which aims to accelerate the development of a North-East bioprocessing, bio-manufacturing and biopharmaceutical hub.
It will position the region as a centre of innovation, attracting investment, enhanced education and workforce development, and aims to enable more companies to bring life-changing medicines to market faster.
The National Horizons Centre is also exploring more ways in which it can use its state-of-the-art facilities and expertise to support FDB, and other vaccine manufacturers, with skills development as it continues its role in the fight against COVID-19.
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