Bavarian Nordic vows to expand monkeypox vaccine capacity

By Thomson Reuters Aug 24, 2022 | 2:02 AM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic on Wednesday said it was making “every effort” to meet the high demand for its monkeypox vaccine around the world as it kept its business outlook for the year.

Bavarian is the only producer of a vaccine approved against monkeypox but the jab is in short supply and several countries are stretching out the available doses, with unknown outcomes, to make the most of existing supplies.

“We are making every effort to meet the initial worldwide demand for our monkeypox vaccine and are working diligently to further expand our manufacturing capacity through additional scale-up activities and partnerships,” CEO Paul Chaplin said in a statement.

Bavarian’s facility in Denmark that was meant to “fill and finish” existing bulk vaccine doses was closed for previously planned upgrades. It has reopened with expanded capacity, the company said on Wednesday, adding that the upgrade has had no impact on the company’s ability to supply the monkeypox vaccine during the first few months of the current outbreak.

The measures taken by the firm were positive, according to Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft Hansen, who holds a ‘buy’ rating on the stock but short supply is likely to remain an issue.

“There could easily be a problem in the longer term with regards to producing enough bulk for the demand in the coming years which is expected due to the build-up of stocks,” he said.

Bavarian, which has raised its 2022 outlook six times since the outbreak started in May, said sales of its monkeypox vaccine – called Jynneos, Imvanex and Imvamune depending on geography – amounted to 117 million Danish crowns ($15.65 million) in the second quarter.

Bavarian’s total sales rose to 537 million crowns, well above the 349 million expected by brokerage Sydbank, while core earnings also beat forecasts.

It still expects sales for the year of between 2.7 billion and 2.9 billion crowns and earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at negative 100 million to 300 million crowns.

($1 = 7.4766 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen and Natalie Grover in London; editing by Terje Solsvik and Jason Neely)