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Serum Institute's partner Novavax says Covid-19 vaccine 89% effective: 10 points

Vials with a sticker reading, 'COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only' and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Novavax logo in this illustration. (REUTERS)Premium
Vials with a sticker reading, 'COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only' and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Novavax logo in this illustration. (REUTERS)

Novavax is already stockpiling vaccine at six operating manufacturing locations, and said it expects a total of eight plants in seven countries to produce at the rate of 2 billion doses per year, including from the Serum Institute of India.

Novavax said on Thursday its coronavirus vaccine was 89.3% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a trial conducted in the United Kingdom, and was nearly as effective in protecting against the more highly contagious variant first discovered in the UK, according to a preliminary analysis.

• A mid-stage trial of the vaccine in South Africa, where a troubling new variant of the virus is common, showed 60% effectiveness among people who did not have HIV.

• Novavax is already stockpiling vaccine at six operating manufacturing locations, and said it expects a total of eight plants in seven countries to produce at the rate of 2 billion doses per year, including from the Serum Institute of India.

• In September 2020, Novavax had announced its deal with world's largest vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India (SII) in order to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

• The company on a conference call noted that this was interim data and executives said they expect it will be two to three months before they are ready to apply for authorization with regulators.

• The UK trial, which enrolled 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, is expected to be used to apply for use in Britain, the European Union and other countries.

• Approval of the Novavax vaccine would be most welcome in Europe as it struggles with meager vaccine supply after Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca Plc delivered fewer doses than hoped.

• The UK study took place as the more highly transmissible UK variant was circulating. The preliminary analysis suggests the vaccine was 85.6% effective against this mutation, the U.S. company announced in its news release. It did not provide detailed data.

• Novavax said it started making new versions of its vaccine to protect against emerging virus variants in early January and expects to select ideal candidates for a booster in the coming days. The company said it plans to initiate clinical testing of these new vaccines in the second quarter of this year.

• It also has received at least $388 million in backing from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), a Norway-based group backed by 14 governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Britain’s Wellcome Trust.

• Novavax’s is a more conventional protein-based vaccine, an approach similar to that used by Sanofi to make its Flublok seasonal flu vaccine. The Novavax vaccine works with the company's proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant used to boost its efficacy.

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