Novavax shares increase after deal to deliver 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to UK

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Novavax shares rose on Friday after the company said it had reached an agreement with the UK to provide 60 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine.Novavax did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. As part of the deal, the UK will work with the company on its phase three clinical trial, which is expected to begin this quarter. The potential vaccine, named NVX-CoV2373, will be tested on around 9,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 85, the company said.

The company’s shares have risen more than 8% in pre-market trading.

“We are honored to partner with the UK government to deliver a vaccine that could provide vital protection in the fight against the global health crisis,” Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said in a statement Friday. “Our phase 3 clinical trial in the UK will be a critical component in evaluating the efficacy of NVX-CoV2373, which in a phase 1 trial has already shown to be generally well tolerated and would elicit robust antibody responses .

The company has already reached an agreement with the US government. Last month, the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​initiative announced it would pay Novavax $ 1.6 billion to develop and manufacture the potential vaccine, with the goal of delivering 100 million doses of here the beginning of next year.

Novavax’s vaccine contains synthesized pieces of the surface protein that the coronavirus uses to infect humans.

Last week, the company announced that its potential vaccine generated a promising immune response in an early-stage clinical trial with 131 healthy participants.

The vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies, which the researchers believe are necessary to boost immunity against the virus, and killer T cells, the company said. In addition, the vaccine appeared to be well tolerated and no serious adverse events were reported.

Novavax is one of several companies in the race to develop a vaccine to fight the virus, which has infected more than 20.9 million people worldwide and killed at least 760,000 on Friday, according to data compiled by the University. Johns Hopkins. There are more than 150 vaccines in development around the world, according to the World Health Organization, at least 26 of which are already in human trials.

At the end of last month, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna both announced they had started late trials for potential coronavirus vaccines. These trials will include approximately 30,000 participants.

Health officials expect to know whether any of the many vaccines in development will be safe and effective by the end of this year or early 2021.

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