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Novavax Begins U.S. Phase 3 Trial of Coronavirus Vaccine

The more Covid-19 vaccines, the better.
(Ascannio)
(Ascannio)
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Novavax announced it would start testing its Covid-19 vaccines with a 30,000 person late-stage trial in the U.S. and Mexico, Bloomberg reports.

Why It Matters: The more viable vaccines available, the quicker the Covid-19 pandemic can be quelled. Shots from Pfizer and Moderna are currently being rolled out under FDA emergency-use approval. Which vaccine candidate will follow next?

  • Other vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are also in late-stage trials.

The Details:

  1. The trial will be completed across 115 locations, “the latest large-scale effort in the U.S. to evaluate vaccines to protect against the virus that’s killed more than 330,000 Americans.”
  2. Novavax is also conducting a large-scale trial in the U.K. that’s completed initial dosing and expects results early in 2021.
  3. “The U.S. trial of Novavax’s vaccine will be conducted with Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s effort to accelerate vaccine development.”

Novavax’s vaccine doesn’t use the new mRNA technology utilized by Pfizer and Moderna. Instead, it uses a different mechanism based on a “stabilized” form of the Covid-19 spike protein that can’t cause infection coupled with an immune system enhancer.

  • Novavax CEO Stan Erck said he expects his company’s shot to have similar effectiveness to the over 90% rate of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
  • He also said the shot would likely prove effective against the new and more infectious variant spread in the U.K.

The Bottom Line From Dr. Fauci: “The launch of this study — the fifth investigational Covid-19 vaccine candidate to be tested in a phase 3 trial in the United States — demonstrates our resolve to end the pandemic through development of multiple safe and effective vaccines.”

Justin Oh:

The more effective vaccines we have, the faster we’ll be out of the pandemic. We are waiting for trial data, hopefully in Q1 2021, for a vaccine stock we have on the Big Board. Our relatively speculative position relies on their vaccine moving towards approval and how well they can sell their vaccine compared to the other competing ones.

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