Newsdeck

COVID-19

Novavax begins mid-stage study of Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa

Novavax begins mid-stage study of Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa
epa08534367 Novavax Inc. headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, 08 July 2020. The company received a 1.6 billion US dollar award from the US government to further develop its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. drug developer Novavax Inc said on Monday that it is starting a mid-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa, as the country experiences a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Phase 2b trial study of NVX-CoV2373 will be conducted on about 2,665 healthy adults and will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity in about 240 medically stable, HIV-positive adults, the company said in a statement.

“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,” said Novavax research chief Gregory Glenn.

South Africa is fifth worst affected country with 583,653 coronavirus cases and 11,677 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

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

Novavax said it intends to initiate the Phase 2 portion of this trial in the United States and Australia in the near future and that it would include about 1,500 candidates.

Earlier this month, Glenn told Reuters the company would start much larger late-stage clinical trials soon and could potentially glean enough data to obtain regulatory approvals as early as December.

The U.S. government in July had awarded Novavax $1.6 billion to cover testing and manufacturing of a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus in the United States with the aim of delivering a 100 million doses by January.

Last month, AstraZeneca said late-stage trials of its experimental drug AZD1222, which is developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, are under way in Brazil and South Africa and due to start in the United States, where prevalence is higher. (Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.