Bavarian Nordic announced in August 2022 that it had “entered into an agreement” with Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM) to expand capacity for the delivery of monkeypox vaccines to the US. GRAM is a US based manufacturer with an FDA approved facility. The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has requested 5.5 million doses for 2022 and 2023.
In July 2022 Bavarian Nordic took an order for 2.5 million doses of the vaccine from BARDA. This will be filled at GRAM using “bulk vaccine already manufactured and invoiced under previous contracts with BARDA”. Bavarian Nordic stated that the tech transfer of the production process has “already been initiated” with the hope of completion within 3 months. This process often takes up to 9 months, and the intention is to enable GRAM to begin manufacturing later in the year.
Bavarian Nordic emphasised that this increased capacity would “expedite delivery of vials to the US” but also create further opportunities for other countries. Within Denmark it is already operating at “double the capacity” compared to before May 2022. Furthermore, Bavarian Nordic is “exploring additional partnerships” to expand capacity and improve “global access to the vaccine”. This comes amidst increased concern that countries where monkeypox is endemic were not able to access the vaccine. As demonstrated in the Covid-19 pandemic, global vaccine access is a critical component of a coordinated global response.
The Coordinator of the White House National Monkeypox Response, Bob Fenton, stated that “increasing the supply and safe delivery” of the monkeypox vaccine was a “top priority for President Biden”.
“This partnership between Bavarian Nordic and GRAM will significantly increase the capacity to fill and finish government-owned doses”.
Paul Chaplin, President and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said that the company had been working “diligently” since the beginning of the outbreak. This agreement is an “important step” in allowing Bavarian Nordic to “meet the growing worldwide demand”.
To hear more about the monkeypox outbreak and ongoing responses come to the World Vaccine Congress in October 2022.