Data from clinical trials also show that the vaccine is almost as effective in protecting against the more contagious variant first discovered in Britain.
Novavax announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 89.3% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a UK trial, and was almost as effective in protecting against the most contagious variant first discovered times in the UK, according to a preliminary analysis.
A mid-term trial of the vaccine in South Africa, where a disturbing new variant of the virus has become common, has shown 60% effectiveness in people who do not have HIV. The United States has signaled its first cases of the South African variant on Thursday.
Novavax, a US-based company, already stocks vaccines at six manufacturing sites and says it expects a total of eight factories in seven countries to be able to produce the vaccine at a rate of two billion dollars. doses per year, including from serum. Institute of India.
The company stressed that this was provisional data and would take two to three months before it was ready to seek clearance from regulators.
The British trial, which recruited 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, is expected to be used for use in Britain, the European Union and other countries.
Approval of the Novavax vaccine would be welcome in Europe as it struggles with a lack of supply after Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca delivered fewer doses than expected.
Effectiveness against mutation
Executives participating in the call said the company is in discussions with the United States Food and Drug Administration about whether the data from the United Kingdom and South Africa is sufficient to apply for authorization to use emergency in the United States.
The British study took place as the most transmissible British variant was circulating.
Preliminary analysis suggests the vaccine was 85.6% effective against this mutation, the company said in its press release. He did not provide detailed data.
In the UK trial, the vaccine’s efficacy was close to that of the two licensed vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, whose two-dose regimens were both around 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in clinical tests.
Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the results were as expected and he was concerned people were focusing too much on the lower efficacy demonstrated in South Africa.
“We were spoiled because we saw the numbers from Moderna and Pfizer. I know people are going to be alarmed, but 60% efficacy against the new variant is acceptable, ”he said, noting that the FDA initially said it would approve a vaccine that would be at least 50% effective. %.
The South African variant has been shown to escape antibody protection in laboratory studies by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech.
Novavax said it began making new versions of its vaccine to protect against emerging viral variants in early January and expects to select ideal candidates for a booster in the coming days. The company said it plans to begin clinical testing of these new vaccines in the second quarter of this year.
A trial of 30,000 people in the United States and Mexico, which began in December, is also underway. The company received $ 1.6 billion from the US government in funding for the vaccine trial and for 100 million doses.
It has also received at least $ 388 million in support from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), a Norwegian group supported by 14 governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Britain’s Wellcome Trust.