Novavax signs COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with India`s Serum Institute

Andrew Cummings
August 6, 2020

Neutralizing antibodies fight off the virus that causes COVID-19.

A total of 106 volunteers between the age of 18 and 59 had been enrolled in the clinical trial conducted by the company in the month of May.

Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine study generated a promising immune response in an early-stage clinical trial in results unveiled Tuesday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Novavax's vaccine uses synthesized pieces of the surface protein that the coronavirus uses to invade human cells and spurs antibody production. At the 35-day mark, or two weeks after their second dose, they had neutralizing antibody levels higher than those seen in a group of patients who had recovered from COVID-19.

The inoculation, named NVX-CoV2373, was given with or without an adjuvant, which is an agent that boosts the immune response. Although it tested an unadjuvanted form of the vaccine and a single-dose regimen of the adjuvanted vaccine, all eyes were on two adjuvanted regimens: 5 micrograms and 25 micrograms given in two injections three weeks apart.

The addition of the company's Matrix-M adjuvant, a substance created to boost the body's immune response, did enhance the effect of the vaccine in the study, the company said.

On the safety side, the most common side effects were headache, fatigue and muscle pain, but the majority were mild and lasted, on average, less than two days.

Novavax said the addition of the adjuvant did enhance the effect of the vaccine in the study. What's more, the lower dose fared "comparably" to the higher dose.

On Tuesday, the company had said that the volunteers who had been administered the vaccine developed twice the amount of antibodies in comparison to the patients who had recovered from the disease.

Effective vaccines and treatments are considered essential to halting a pandemic that has claimed more than 695,000 lives worldwide.

The company has never brought a vaccine to market in its 33-year history but received a $1.6 billion grant from the government's Operation Warp Speed to have 100 million doses ready by early 2021.

Because COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at unprecedented speed, safety issues are being watched very closely.

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