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Novavax's covid-19 vaccine is 89% effective in a clinical trial conducted in the United Kingdom and appears to offer protection against some variants of the new coronavirus, the American biotechnology firm announced.
Novavax said Thursday that it found its vaccine was 95.6% effective against the original new coronavirus and 85.6% effective against the variant first identified in the UK, known as B.1,1.7, based on the results of a phase 3 trial conducted in the UK.
The study included efficacy estimates by strain based on PCR tests performed on variants of 56 COVID-19 cases in the trial.
But the vaccine appeared to be less effective against a variant first identified in South Africa.
The injection was 60% effective among HIV-negative people in a separate phase 2b study conducted in that country.
Efficacy was reduced to 49.4% when people with HIV were included.
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Novavax said it planned to begin developing a vaccine specifically targeting the identified variant in South Africa.
The company also said that it had already started work on a new version of the vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against emerging strains.
His goal is to begin clinical testing of this in the second quarter of this year.
Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine Trials
The company's vaccine, known as NVX-CoV2373, "is the first vaccine to demonstrate not only high clinical efficacy against COVID-19, but also significant clinical efficacy against rapidly emerging variants from the UK and South Africa," he said. Stanley Erck, Novavax CEO, in the announcement.
"NVX-CoV2373 has the potential to play an important role in solving this global public health crisis."
Regarding the trial in South Africa, “the 60% reduction in the risk of contracting COVID-19 disease in vaccinated people in South Africans underscores the value of this vaccine in preventing the disease of the highly worrisome variant currently circulating in South Africa and it is spreading globally, ”Shabir Maddi, principal investigator of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa, said in the announcement.
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"This is the first COVID-19 vaccine for which we now have objective evidence that it protects against the dominant variant in South Africa," Maddi said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the results of the British trial, praised the "good news" that the candidate vaccine had proven to be effective, and expressed gratitude to "all the volunteers who made these results possible." in a tweet.
“Our drug regulator will now evaluate the vaccine, which will be manufactured in Teesside.
If approved, we have 60 million doses on request, ”he tweeted.
So far, the UK inoculation program has seen more than 7.4 million people receive the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest government figures.
Two vaccines, from Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca, are already in use in the phase-out nationwide.
Moderna's vaccine has also received the green light.
Novavax is also currently conducting a phase 3 clinical study in the United States and Mexico and a follow-up phase 1/2 in the United States and Australia, data for which is expected as early as the first quarter of 2021.