(Reuters) – Novavax Inc on Thursday started a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom in partnership with the government’s Vaccines Taskforce, sending the company’s shares up 6% after the bell.
The study is expected to enroll up to 10,000 participants aged between 18 and 84 years and comes after the vaccine candidate produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus in a small, early-stage clinical trial.
Data from the trial – likely over the next four to six weeks – will support regulatory submissions for license in the UK, EU and other countries.
The company has previously said it expects to file for U.S. approval of the vaccine in December.
Novavax is among global drugmakers racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, for which there are no current treatments or vaccines approved.
The trial will enroll at least 25% of participants over the age of 65 and prioritize groups most affected by the COVID-19, the company said.
Novavax said it could produce up to 2 billion annualized doses, once all capacity is brought online by mid-2021.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the EU was close to concluding preliminary talks with the company for its potential COVID-19 shot.
Meanwhile, Britain recorded its highest number of daily cases of COVID-19 on Thursday at 6,634, reflecting a second wave of infections sweeping through the country but also a much higher level of testing than during the first wave.
Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sriraj Kalluvila.