• Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:16 am

Novavax enters late-stage clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine

  • Published at 03:14 pm September 25th, 2020
Covid-19 vaccine
File photo: Three potential Covid-19 vaccines are kept in a tray at Novavax labs, in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020 AFP

Novavax is the 11th Covid-19 vaccine candidate to reach the Phase 3 stage globally

US biotech firm Novavax said on Thursday it is initiating the third and final stage of a clinical trial for its potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The trial will be carried out in the United Kingdom and aims to enroll 10,000 volunteers, aged 18 to 84, with and without underlying conditions, 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 Glenn, the company's president of research and development, using the technical name for the formulation.

It is the 11th Covid-19 vaccine candidate to reach the Phase 3 stage globally.            

The company has been awarded $1.6 billion by the US government to develop and fund the drug, which is administered by two intramuscular injections.

The Maryland-based company uses insect cells to grow synthesized pieces of the spike protein of the virus, which it hopes will evoke a robust human immune response.

It also uses an "adjuvant", a compound that boosts the production of neutralising antibodies.

The company says the drug, which is a liquid formulation, can be stored at 2°C to 8°C.

In the spring, the company said it had proven the efficacy of a seasonal flu vaccine it had developed using the same technology.

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