Novartis inks deal to make Mass General Brigham’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is pictured at the French company’s headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris, France, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis’s gene therapy unit AveXis has signed a manufacturing agreement to produce a novel genetic COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the U.S.-based Mass General Brigham health care system, a spokeswoman for the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the most urgent public health crisis of our time and we recognize the significance of evaluating the potential role of a gene-based vaccine,” said AveXis President Dave Lennon in a statement issued by Mass General Brigham’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital.

AveXis is contributing technology, expertise and supply chain at no cost to supply the vaccine for clinical trials for the candidate scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020, according to the statement.

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