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Pharma Giant Novavax Postpones Phase 3 Clinical Trials of Its COVID-19 Vaccine

There are numerous companies struggling to develop the most efficient COVID-19 vaccine which finally puts an end to this deadly pandemic. While some of them are already in their phase three trials, one of the big pharmaceutical company Novavax who was to make the COVID-19 vaccine for the US has announced that their phase 3 clinical trials are delayed till December.

Novavax previously released promising news on its COVID-19 vaccine development. However, it has now announced that its trials are delayed which were about to start this month.

The company has confirmed that its trials will now start in December but they have not given any date. These trials will take place in the US and Mexico, according to the press release posted today.

The press release also stated that the company has shortlisted nearly 100 trial sites. It has also picked some alternate sites to conduct the trials if required. This COIVID-19 vaccine by Novavax is called NVX-CoV2373. As per the initial tests, this vaccine has shown good results. But as per the FDA, every vaccine has to conduct its phase three clinical trials in order to get approval by the agency.

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This is not the first time that the pharmaceutical company has delayed its trials. Earlier in October, it delayed them due to some manufacturing issue. In other locations, Novavax has already started the testing for example in the UK, the company is able to recruit 15,000 volunteers, nearly 25% of which are older adults (<65 years).  It has also initiated its trials in South Africa where the COVID-19 vaccine by Novavax is in its phase 2 trials.

On the other side, two leading pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna have shared the results of their phase 3 trials saying that there is sufficient evidence to build these results. Pfizer has reported a 90% efficient COVID-19 vaccine while Moderna says its vaccine is up to 95% efficient.  Both these companies have used the messenger RNA technology for creating this vaccine. However, Novavax is using a protein-based vaccine that is genetically engineered using the SARS-CoV-2 model.

NVX-CoV2373, the COVID-19 vaccine by Novavax uses recombinant nanoparticle technology which is easier to transport and supply. On the other side, the mRNA vaccine by Moderna and Pfizer has to maintain extremely difficult temperature conditions during transportation which might be a challenge to send them over faraway areas and store them locally.

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Moderna Inc. has revealed that it is applying to the U.S FDA to get an emergency use authorization in the US for its newly made vaccine. It also says that there is plenty of evidence to confirm that it provides strong protection from the virus.

Before that, Pfizer also announced its plans to submit its COVID-19 vaccine authorization request to FDA which it has developed in collaboration with its German partner company, BioNTech.

But which one of these companies will win this COVID-19 vaccine development race has no answer at this moment. Coming weeks will reveal the name of the company which gets its authorization first. And if it happens, there are good chances that Americans will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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