Novavax starts midstage trial of Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa

Novavax Inc, US drug developer is starting a mid stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa, as country is experiencing a surge in the corona virus cases.The study of Phase 2b trial of NVX-CoV2373 vaccine will be conducted on around  2,665 healthy adults and will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity in 240 medically stable, HIVpositive adults. Gregory Glenn, Novavax research chief said that,”Because South Africa is experiencing a winter surge of COVID-19 disease, this important Phase 2b clinical trial has the potential to provide an early indication of efficacy, along with additional safety and immunogenicity data for NVX-CoV2373,”.

According to Reuters data, South Africa is fifth worst affected country with 583,653 Covid-19 cases and 11,677 deaths.

The company added that, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a grant of $15 million towards the clinical trial.

They intend to initiate the Phase 2 portion of the clinical trial in the United States and Australia in the near future and it would involve about 1,500 candidates, said Novavax.

Glenn told Reuters, earlier this month that the company would begin soon the much larger late stage clinical trials and could potentially gather enough data to get regulatory approvals earliest by December.

Novavax was awarded $ 1.6 billion in July by the US Government for testing and manufacturing of a vaccine for the novel Covid-19 disease in the United States with a aim of delivering 100 million doses by January.

Last month, AstraZeneca said that the late stage trials of its experimental drug AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, are in progress in Brazil and South Africa and due to start in the United States, where prevalence is higher.


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