Novavax gets U.S. defense funding for its COVID-19 vaccine

(Reuters) - Novavax Inc said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will give the late-stage biotech company up to $60 million to fund the manufacturing of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S.-based company said the deal includes the delivery of 10 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine - NVX‑CoV2373 - to the DoD this year.

The announcement of Novavax’s vaccine trial came last month as drugmakers pause clinical trials on drugs for other ailments to focus on COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus that has resulted in more than 386,379 deaths globally.

The Maryland-based company joined the race to test coronavirus vaccine candidates on humans and said it was targeting the production of over a billion doses of its vaccine candidate next year.

Preliminary data from its first participants on safety and indicators of an immune response from the trial is expected next month.

Vaccines are seen by world leaders as the only real way to restart their stalled economies after months of sweeping shutdowns.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips