A fourth COVID-19 vaccine could be on the horizon for the US, reportedly, the Novavax CEO said Monday. Stanley Erck said he believes the FDA could potentially release his company’s candidate vaccine starting in May.
Appearing on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Erck said his company’s phase 3 trial is ongoing, but he hopes the FDA will allow data from a UK trial to be considered during the application process for authorization of emergency use.
In late January, Novavax announced that its protein-based vaccine showed 89.3% efficacy against coronavirus in a UK trial, which it noted was during a peak transmission period and when the B.1.1 variant. 7 was in circulation.
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The injection, NVX-CoV2373, uses a full-length perfusion peak protein created with recombinant nanoparticle technology and the company’s “proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant.” This differs from Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which were developed using mRNA technology, as well as Johnson & Johnson one-shot jab, which was created using a viral adenovirus vector. The Novavax vaccine, which is given in two doses a month apart, is also stable between 2 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius and ships in a ready-to-use liquid formula.
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Pending approval, the company agreed to supply the US with 110 million doses, which if the planned schedule is met, could be completed around June or July, Erck told CNBC. That deadline coincides with the contract Johnson & Johnson signed with the US, which will provide the country with 100 million doses.
“There is a great need for the vaccine in the US and, you know, it’s a big world,” Erck told the news outlet.
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On Tuesday, it emerged that Merck & Co. was partnering with Johnson & Johnson to boost production efforts. President Biden is expected to announce the partnership while updating himself on the current status of the pandemic.