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Shares in Poland's Mabion surge on Novavax vaccine programme deal

WARSAW, March 3 (Reuters) - Shares in Mabion, a Polish biotechnology company, jumped by over 60% on Wednesday morning after it announced a framework cooperation deal with U.S. vaccine developer Novavax on COVID-19 vaccination technology.

"We look forward to a close cooperation with Novavax, which may pave the way for commercial scale production, provided that technology transfer and technical batch are successfully completed", Mabion Chief executive Dirk Kreder said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mabion and Novavax will work together to transfer technology for the production of a technical batch of NVX-CoV2373.

Mabion said it expected the technology transfer and verification to complete by the middle of 2021.

"Upon successful completion, Mabion's manufacturing facility could become a part of the supply chain for commercial production of Novavax's adjuvanted protein-based vaccine candidate," Mabion said in a statement.

By 0920 GMT shares in Mabion were up 42.2% at 44.5 zlotys, valuing the company at around 611 million zlotys ($162.79 million).

Mabion was established in 2007 by four Polish pharmaceutical companies - Celon Pharma, Polfarmex, IBSS Krakow and Genexo.

Poland, with a population of around 38 million, has up to date inoculated over 3 million people, mostly with vaccines by Pfeizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Like in other EU countries, the programme has been hampered by delays in deliveries.

($1 = 3.7533 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, editing by Louise Heavens)

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