Container shipping giant Maersk has partnered with COVID-19 vaccine developer COVAXX to distribute up to a billion doses of the COVAXX synthetic vaccine worldwide.
The logistical agreement lays out a framework for all transportation and supply chain services that will be needed to deliver COVAXX’s vaccine candidate UB-612 around the world, once approved by regulatory authorities. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
COVAXX is currently conducting Phase 1 clinical trials of its UB-612 vaccine in Taiwan and has an agreement with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to conduct Phase 2 trials in the United States, upon regulatory approval. The company has advanced pre-commitments for over 100 million doses of UB-612 around the globe.
For its role, Maersk will oversee all logistics activities to ensure efficient transportation to developing countries. “The agreement provides for end-to-end supply chain management, packing and shipping, via air or ocean, ground transportation, warehouse storage and distribution to facilities to support COVAXX’s requirements for a pharmaceutical grade, temperature-controlled supply chain,” Maersk said in a statement.
The design of the vaccine allows for the use of existing cold-chain storage and distribution channels, rather than needing additional infrastructure such as -80?C freezers or liquid nitrogen tanks to store materials at extreme temperatures.
In total, COVAXX is planning to manufacture 100 million doses of UB-612 during early 2021, and a billion doses by the end of 2021.
“Efficient and safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world is the most urgent logistics challenge we face today. A. P. Moller – Maersk is committed to working closely with COVAXX to ensure smooth end-to-end global delivery of this vaccine as soon as it becomes available,” said Rob Townley, Head of Special Project Logistics at Maersk. “Our specialized logistics expertise and the global infrastructure of Maersk make this a perfect match.”
COVAXX is a subsidiary of New York-headquartered United Biomedical Inc (UBI), which was founded in 1985.