Novavax Inc has said that participants in its ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa and the UK can now receive additional shots, ensuring those who received a placebo can also get the active vaccine.
Giving volunteers the active vaccine means that the participants will have an incentive to continue participating in the trials even when other authorised vaccines become available.
However, all participants will be ‘blinded’, which means that they won’t know whether they’ve been given the vaccine or the placebo. Novavax also has a two-shot vaccine and is still waiting to be approved. The vaccines trial participants in the UK and U.S will be offered a chance to get an additional round of shots.
This means that the participants who received the placebo in the first round will now get a vaccine and those who received the vaccine in the first round will get a placebo.
What do we know about Novavax so far
Novavax is a US-based biotechnology company. In Jan 2021, the company had announced 89.3% efficacy against the UK variant of Covid-19 in the Phase 3 trial in UK. The vaccine has an efficacy rate of 96.4% against covid-19 which is at par with the other approved vaccines.
According to the company’s website, ‘NVX-CoV2373 contains a full-length, prefusion spike protein made using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology and the company’s proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant. The purified protein is encoded by the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and is produced in insect cells. It can neither cause COVID-19 nor can it replicate, is stable at 2°C to 8°C (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.’
Business pundits have already said that the vaccine is forecast to have $33.3 billion total sales for 2021–2027 and will be the second-leading vaccine candidate after BioNTech
The company expects to receive UK and FDA approval in 2021.
The company’s stocks have moved up since Novavax announced the cross trial last week. With all the numbers in its favour, Novavax is going to be prove to be a major player in the market.