Novavax Says Its Vaccine Is 90% Effective With 100% Protection Against Moderate and Severe COVID-19

Kimberly Redmond  |

Novavax Inc (Nasdaq: NVAX) announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was highly effective against the virus, while also protecting against known variants in a late-stage clinical trial in the US and Mexico.

The vaccine was over 90% effective overall with 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, the Maryland-based biotechnology company said in a press release.

The trial — which included 29,960 participants — also showed the vaccine had 93% efficacy against known variants of the coronavirus, Novavax said.

The company said the two-dose vaccine was "generally well-tolerated" and common side effects included pain at the injection site, lasting less than three days, and fatigue, headache and muscle pain, lasting less than two days.

In a statement, Gregory Glenn, Novavax’s president of research and development, said, “These data show consistent, high levels of efficacy and reaffirm the ability of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 amid ongoing genetic evolution of the virus.”

“Our vaccine will be a critical part of the solution to COVID-19 and we are grateful to the study participants and trial staff who made the study possible, as well as our supporters, including the US Government,” he said.

The company’s vaccine, called NVX-CoV2373, differs from the three vaccines already in use in the US, CNN noted. 

Novavax’s vaccine relies on recombinant nanoparticle technology and an adjuvant to stimulate an immune response.  

The two mRNA vaccines issued EUAs last year in the US from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech use genetic material to stimulate an immune response. 

Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine, which was authorized in February, uses a weakened common cold virus as a vector to transmit genetic instructions.

Novavax, which has faced raw material shortages that have impacted production, said it plans to apply in the US for emergency use authorization of its vaccine in the third quarter of this year and is "on track" to manufacture about 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter. 

Demand for COVID-19 vaccines has declined in the US, but the need for shots in other parts of the world remains high.  According to a data collection effort run in part by the University of Oxford, fewer than 1% of people in developing nations have received one dose of a vaccine.

The Novavax vaccine, which can be stored in a regular refrigerator, is expected to play a key role in boosting that global supply, The Associated Press reported.

Novavax chief executive officer and president Stanley Erck told the media outlet, “Many of our first doses will go to low- and middle-income countries and that was the goal [from the beginning].”

Last month, Gavi, a leader of the UN-backed COVAX project to supply shots to poorer countries, announced it signed an agreement to buy 350 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine. 

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Source: Equities News

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