U.S.-based biotech company Novavax announced Monday that Phase 3 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine show it to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing the disease and provide good protection against variants.
A release from the company said the study enrolled 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the United States and Mexico with an emphasis on recruiting a representative population of communities and demographic groups most impacted by the disease.
While demand for COVID-19 shots in the U.S. has dropped off dramatically, the need for more vaccines around the world remains critical as many developing nations are just getting vaccine programs going or have yet to start.
The Novavax vaccine, which is easy to store and transport, is expected to play an important role in boosting vaccine supplies in the developing world. In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck said, “Many of our first doses will go to … low-and middle-income countries, and that was the goal to begin with.”
The White House’s top adviser on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told The Washington Post the vaccine is “really very impressive,” saying it is on par with the most effective shots developed during the pandemic. “It’s very important for the world’s population to have, yet again, another highly efficacious vaccine that looks in its trial to have a good safety profile.”
The company intends to file for regulatory authorizations in the third quarter, upon completion of the final phases of process qualification and assay validation needed to meet chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) requirements.
Upon regulatory approvals, Novamax says it is on track to reach manufacturing capacity of 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter and 150 million doses per month by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.