Research & Development

Sanofi and Novavex sign exclusive licensing agreement to commercialise and develop COVID-19 and flu-COVID-19 vaccines

French pharma and healthcare company Sanofi and US biotech Novavex have entered into a co-exclusive licensing agreement for a number of projects, including commercialising Novavex’s COVID-19 vaccine and developing a flu-COVID-19 combined vaccine.
Sanofi will assist Novavex in globally co-commercialising its current COVID-19 vaccine, except in countries where there are existing Advance Purchase agreements or partnership agreements (such as India, Japan and South Korea). A sole licence will also be used for this vaccine in combination with Sanofi’s flu vaccine. Lastly, there will be a non-exclusive licence to use the Matrix-M adjuvant in vaccine products.
Within this agreement, Novavax will receive an upfront payment of $500m and up to $700m in development, regulatory and launch milestones – $1.2bn in total. Novavax will also gain tiered double-digit percentage royalty payments on sales by Sanofi of the
COVID-19 and flu-COVID-19 vaccines, and additional launch and sales milestone opportunities of up to $200m plus mid-single digit royalties for each additional Sanofi vaccine developed with Novavex’s Matrix-M technology.
Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of Vaccines R&D, Sanofi, commented: “With flu and COVID-19 hospital admission rates now closely mirroring each other, we have an opportunity to develop non-mRNA flu-COVID-19 combination vaccines offering patients both enhanced convenience and protection against two serious respiratory viruses. We’re excited by the prospect of combining Novavax’s adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine that has shown high efficacy and favourable tolerability, with our rich portfolio of differentiated flu vaccines that have demonstrated superior protection against flu and its serious complications. Improved tolerability and thermostability, without compromise on efficacy, are what regulators, recommending bodies and patients will demand.”