Tuesday, August 4, Novavax announced that its potential vaccine shows a promising immune response in an early stage, according to initial data.
The phase one trial included 131 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 59 at two sites in Australia. Novavax said 106 participants received one of four dose levels of the potential vaccine, named NVX-CoV2373, with or without an adjuvant, which is an ingredient designed to enhance the immune response. The remaining 25 patients received a placebo.
Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine via intramuscular injection approximately 21 days apart, the company said.
Novavax stated the vaccine was well tolerated with no serious adverse events reported. Side effects included soreness at the site of injection, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain. These were classified as mild to moderate, and none were severe.
According to Gregory Glenn, President of Research and Development at Novavax, “The Phase 1 data demonstrate that NVX-CoV2373 with our Matrix-M adjuvant is a well‑tolerated COVID-19 vaccine with a robust immunogenicity profile.”
While Novavax’s data appears promising, scientists warn that questions remain about how the human body responds once it’s been infected with the virus.
One question among scientists is whether the antibodies produced in response to COVID-19 offer protection against getting infected again. Scientists expect that antibodies provide some degree of protection against getting COVID-19, but they can’t say that definitively yet since the virus was first discovered just seven months ago.
Public health officials say there is no returning to “normal” until there is a vaccine.
Novavax is among the several companies racing to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 18 million people worldwide and killed at least 707, 832.