Earlier this month Novavax reached an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to produce as many as 2 billion doses a year. The vaccine is expected to be brought online by mid-2021.
US-based biotech Novavax, announced that it has initiated its first Phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The trial is being conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), in partnership with the UK Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, and is expected to enroll and immunise up to 10,000 individuals between 18-84 years of age, with and without relevant comorbidities, over the next four to six weeks.
“With a high level of SARS-CoV-2 transmission observed and expected to continue in the UK, we are optimistic that this pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial will enroll quickly and provide a near-term view of NVX-CoV2373’s efficacy,” said Gregory M. Glenn, President, Research and Development at Novavax.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
“The data from this trial is expected to support regulatory submissions for licensure in the UK, EU and other countries,” Glenn said.
NVX-CoV2373 is a protein sub-unit vaccine made using company's recombinant protein nanoparticle technology that includes Novavax’ proprietary MatrixM adjuvant.
The vaccine will allow handling in an unfrozen, liquid formulation that can be stored at 2°C to 8°C, allowing for distribution using standard vaccine channels.
Earlier this month Novavax reached an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to produce as many as 2 billion doses a year. The vaccine is expected to be brought online by mid -2021.Follow our LIVE blog to get the latest updates on Coronavirus here