GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) announced it will help making up to 60mln doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate (NVX-CoV2373) developed by Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX).

The FTSE 100 firm signed an agreement in principle with Novavax and the UK Government.

READ: GlaxoSmithKline dismisses former US vaccine executive from board of investee over sexual harassment allegations

The doses are meant to be distributed in the UK based on approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which is expected during the second quarter.

GSK will provide ‘fill and finish’ manufacturing capacity at its Barnard Castle facility in the North East of England, a place that rose to fame after politician Dominic Cummings drove there from London during the first national lockdown in 2020 to test his eyesight.

Fill and finish is the completion stage of vaccine manufacturing, preparing vials of the final vaccine and packaging them for distribution and use. Work is expected to begin as early as May.

“We’ve all seen just how important onshore vaccine manufacturing capabilities are, and this fantastic deal will ensure more of these vital products can be produced here in the UK,” Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock noted in a release.

“The UK’s vaccination programme has been a national success, with over 30 million people now having received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

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