REFILE-EU close to sealing supply deal with Novavax for COVID-19 vaccines - sources

(Refiles to fix typo)

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The European Union could sign a supply deal with Novavax this week or next for the U.S. company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, two EU officials involved in the talks with the firm said.

The EU concluded in December preliminary negotiations with Novavax for the supply of 100 million doses and an option for another 100 million.

“Talks with Novavax have intensified and we aim to agree the contract this week or next,” one EU official said.

A second EU official, involved in talks, confirmed that possible timetable for a deal, but added that discussions with the company’s lawyers were still underway, declining to elaborate on what were the outstanding issues.

Last week Europe’s drug regulator said it had launched a real-time review of Novavax’s vaccine to speed up potential approvals.

The vaccine is still being trialled, but preliminary data showed the vaccine was 89.3% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a trial conducted in the United Kingdom, and was nearly as effective in protecting against the more highly contagious variant first discovered in the UK.

The possible deal with Novavax would be the seventh sealed by the EU with vaccine makers for the supply of COVID-19 shots. It already has agreements with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, CureVac, Moderna and Sanofi-GSK for a total of about 2.3 billion doses. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio Editing by Susan Fenton)