Prominent biotechnology company Novavax, Inc. has reportedly claimed to have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that was 90.4% effective in preventing coronavirus and 100% effective in the prevention of moderate to severe disease during phase 3 trials. This apparently places its vaccine on same playing field as that of the highly effective mRNA shots.
The trials reportedly included 29,960 people from the U.S. and Mexico and were performed when the highly transmissible variants were spreading. At that time, the Alpha variant, first identified in the U.K. had become dominant in the U.S.
The company mentioned that these results imply that its jab could be as effective as nearly 93% against the new virus variants. Its vaccine based on recombinant nanoparticle protein does not require storage at ultra-low temperatures and was 100% effective against the previous variants, the company cited.
However, the vaccine is not expected to arrive in the market soon. Novavax stated that the company won’t submit to the regulators until the third quarter of 2021. By that time, majority of Britons, Americans and Europeans are expected to be vaccinated already.
Explaining that the production scale-up and tech transfers take longer time, Novavax’s head of research and development, Gregory Glenn stated that during the previous year, they had to build a company as well as a vaccine.
Novavax’s higher rate of efficacy rate and potential against variants appears to bolster its position among the next generation vaccines. Through the company’s large deals for supplying to COVAX, it is expected to supersede Oxford/AstraZeneca as the more effective vaccine.
For the uninitiated, COVAX is a mechanism operated by the World Health Organization, CEPI and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance aimed at ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines globally.
COVAX is anticipated to receive nearly 1.1 billion Oxford/AstraZeneca doses and another 1.1 billion Novavax doses.
Glenn stated that the company’s vaccine could do a lot of good, especially through COVAX, which would allow it to deliver its vaccine in the poorest parts of the world.