After successfully launching coronavirus vaccine COVISHIELD, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has applied to India’s drugs controller for permission to conduct small domestic trial in India for Novavax’s Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine candidate 'COVOVAX', SII chief Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said. Novavax, which was found to be 89.3% effective in a UK trial, is the second Covid-19 vaccine that the company will be manufacturing locally.
Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla wrote, "Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!"
Novavax, a vaccine undergoing trials for effectiveness against the novel coronavirus, has become the first immune dose to definitively confirm protection against the new variant of the deadly virus which was detected in the UK late last year.
A late-stage clinical trial involving over 15,000 people in the UK found that the vaccine produced by American firm Novavax 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. A smaller, separate trial also showed that it was about 60 per cent effective against the South African variant, despite concerns that this strain may not respond to vaccines.
"This is positive news and, if approved by the medicines regulator, the Novavax vaccine will be a significant boost to our vaccination programme and another weapon in our arsenal to beat this awful virus," said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The Novavax vaccine also requires two doses, like the other vaccines being administered to the most vulnerable groups. 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.
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.
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