The company said the number of antibodies found in volunteers who participated in the trials was twice the number of antibodies found in recovered patients from the disease.
In another positive development in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, US pharma major Novavax Inc said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate helps develop a substantial amount of antibodies in human bodies against the virus. The positive result from an early-stage clinical trial led to a spurt of up to 10 per cent in the share prices of the pharma company on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.
The company said the number of antibodies found in volunteers who participated in the trials was twice the number of antibodies found in recovered patients from the disease. It also said that during the trials the volunteers had been administered two small doses of the vaccine. The trials for which the company announced results on Tuesday had begun in the month of May and had enrolled a total of 106 subjects between the age of 18 and 59. The company also said that out of the total participants, eight volunteers also showed up some side effects of the vaccine including headache, fatigue, and muscle pain. However, none of the volunteers needed any medical intervention.
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Buoyed up by the positive results, the company said that it hoped to commence large scale phase 3 trials of the vaccine by the end of September. The company also said that subject to positive results from phase 3 trial of the vaccine, the company would be in a position to manufacture anything between 1-2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
As far as taking the necessary regulatory approval for the large scale production of the vaccine, Novavax research chief Gregory Glenn told news agency Reuters that the company would have enough data by the end of December to be able to obtain regulatory approval. The vaccine candidate developed by the company is one of the very few candidates which are being funded by the Operation Warp Speed which is being led by the White House. In July this year, the Donald Trump administration had given $1.6 billion of aid to the company to cover its cost of developing and testing the vaccine in successive trials. The U.S. government is also hoping to obtain more than 100 million doses of the vaccine by January 2021.