The company’s study involved nearly 30,000 persons aged 18 and above in the U.S. and Mexico.
U.S. vaccine manufacturer Novavax, said its COVID-19 vaccine had shown an overall efficacy of 90.4% in trials in the U.S. and Mexico, potentially adding — in a few months — another vaccine to the world’s arsenal against the disease which has killed close to four million people. Trials have already occurred in the UK and South Africa.
The Maryland-based company, which tested its two dose ‘NVX-CoV2373’ vaccine on a population of just under 30,000 adults in the U.S. and Mexico, said the jabs provided 100% protection against moderate to severe disease and an overall efficacy of 90.4%. Of the 77 individuals out of 29,960 in the trial who contracted COVID-19, 14 received the actual vaccine, doses of which were spaced three weeks apart, while 63 had received placebos.
Ten moderate to severe cases of the disease were observed, but all were confined to the placebo group, the company said. All 14 infections in the vaccinated group were mild. Preliminary data suggest that the vaccine is safe, according to a press release from Novavax.
Novavax detected strains of the virus found first in the U.K.,U.S., Brazil, South Africa and India, according to data released by the company during a Monday morning conference call.
Vaccine efficacy was 91% in “high risk “populations (above 65 years of age, or under 65 years with comorbidities or frequent COVID-19 exposure) the company said.
Novavax said it plans to apply for authorizations in the third quarter (July-September) and is on track to manufacture 100 million doses per month by the end of September and 150 million doses per month by the end of 2021. The U.S. has more doses than it will need to vaccinate its entire population and as a result much of the Novavax vaccine may be used in developing countries. That it can be stored at 2 C -8 C, makes it easier to use in developing countries, where maintaining unbroken cold-chains can be challenging. The vaccine works by eliciting an immune response to a a prefusion spike protein built from Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle technology and an adjuvant (a substance that increases immune response).
“Many of our first doses will go to … low- and middle-income countries, and that was the goal to begin with,” Mr Erck told The Associated Press. Novavax has signed an agreement with international vaccine access coalition Gavi, to supply 1.1. billion to low and middle income countries.
In India, the vaccine is slated to be produced in partnership with the Serum Institute of India (SII), under the name Covavax. Earlier in June, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had given permission to SII to go ahead with Phase 2/3 trials.