(Reuters) – Danish biotech firm Bavarian Nordic said on Thursday it has signed up a U.S.-based manufacturer to package its Jynneos monkeypox vaccine and the production is expected to begin later this year.
The company aims to finish the technology transfer in three months to Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic.
More than 13,500 cases of the disease, which cause flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, have been reported in the United States as of Aug. 17.
The government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which procures the vaccine, has requested 5.5 million doses for delivery this year and the next, the company said.
This includes an additional order for 2.5 million doses that Bavarian Nordic received last month.
Besides allowing faster deliveries to the United States, the agreement will free up the company’s capacity for other countries.
The Danish company has doubled its capacity from before the outbreak started in May and expects to further increase it even as it explores more partnerships to improve global access to the vaccine.
To boost the supply of monkeypox vaccines, the United States is making an additional 1.8 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine available for orders starting Aug. 22.
Cases of monkeypox have been rising globally, with over 38,800 cases confirmed.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Leroy Leo; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur)