New York: Novavax, US-based biotechnology company on Friday announced that its Covid-19 vaccine offered 85.6 per cent protection against the new British strain of COVID-19 in a trial conducted in the UK.
According to the results of a late-stage clinical trial involving over 15,000 people in the UK, it was found that the vaccine is 89.3 per cent effective in preventing coronavirus and offered 85.6 per cent protection against the new British strain of COVID-19, which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
The study assessed efficacy of the vaccine-NVX-CoV2373 -during a period with high transmission and with a new UK variant strain of the virus emerging and circulating widely. The study was conducted in partnership with the UK government's Vaccines Taskforce and assessed efficacy during a period with high transmission and with a new UK variant strain of the virus emerging and circulating widely.
"NVX-CoV2373 has the potential to play an important role in solving this global public health crisis. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, collaborators, investigators and regulators around the world to make the vaccine available as quickly as possible," Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax, said in a statement.
Once cleared for public use, Novavax will become the fourth vaccine to be deployed in the UK in the coming weeks, joining the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna jabs.
The biotech company also announced results of its Phase 2b study conducted in South Africa.
In the South Africa Phase 2b clinical trial, 60 per cent efficacy for the prevention of mild, moderate and severe Covid-19 disease was observed in the 94 per cent of the study population that was HIV-negative.
In 2020, Novavax had announced its deal with Pune-based vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India (SII) in order to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
While Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rely on technology that has not been used in previous vaccines, the Novavax jab uses a more traditional method of recreating part of the spike protein of the virus to stimulate the immune system and can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures like the Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs.
NVX-CoV2373 contains a full-length, prefusion spike protein made using Novavax' recombinant nanoparticle technology and the company's proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant.
The purified protein is encoded by the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] spike (S) protein and is produced in insect cells. It can neither cause COVID-19 nor can it replicate. It is stable at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.
Novavax is currently stockpiling vaccines at six manufacturing locations and is aiming for eight plants in seven countries to produce 2 billion doses a year. The UK will manufacture its doses at Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England.
According to the latest figures, more than 7.4 million people in the UK have so far received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The government has set a target to vaccinate all the top priority groups of the population by mid-February.
The coronavirus has claimed 103,324 lives, along with over 3.7 million confirmed cases, in the UK.
(Based on IANS and PTI feeds)