The Canadian government on Monday agreed to buy 76 million doses of Novavax’s (NVAX) COVID-19 vaccine for an undisclosed amount, the company announced.

The doses of the vaccine NVX-CoV2373 are expected to begin being supplied as early as the second quarter of 2021, with delivery of the vaccine dependent on approval by Health Canada.

Anita Anand, minister of Public Services and Procurement for the Government of Canada, said in a statement that the vaccine is an “important step in our government’s effort to secure a vaccine to keep Canadians safe and healthy, as the global pandemic evolves.”

The Novavax NVX-CoV2373 vaccine is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials to determine its safety and immunogenicity. The trials began in August in the U.S. and Australia and have expanded the age range of participants to 60-84 years old. This subset makes up about 50% of the studies’ patients.

Novavax said Phase 2b clinical trials to test effectiveness also began in South Africa in August. In preliminary studies, the NVX-CoV2372 vaccine demonstrated good tolerance by participants and “elicited robust antibody responses,” the company said.

The NVX-CoV2372 COVID-19 vaccine was engineered from a genetic sequence of the virus. It uses the company’s recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate an antigen that is derived from the coronavirus spike protein. It also contacts Novavax’s patented saponin-bases Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance immune response and stimulate the production of neutralizing antibodies.

“We are pleased to work with the Canadian government on supply of our COVID-19 vaccine, an essential step to ensure broad access of our vaccine candidate,” Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO at Novavax, said in a statement. “We are moving forward with clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our quest to deliver a vaccine to protect the world.”

In total, Novavax has secured $2 billion in funding for its global COVID-19 vaccine program.

Canada has over 130,000 positive coronavirus cases, with over 9,100 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University

Shares of Novavax were trading at $110.64 as of 2:54 p.m. EDT, gaining $2.90, or 2.69%.

Dr. Nita Patel, Novavax director of antibody discovery and vaccine development, examines a vial of the company's experimental COVID-19 vaccine Dr. Nita Patel, Novavax director of antibody discovery and vaccine development, examines a vial of the company's experimental COVID-19 vaccine Photo: AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS