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Novavax developing vaccine that targets new COVID-19 variant

Stock MarketsNov 26, 2021 06:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Novavax logo in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

By Manojna Maddipatla and Mrinalika Roy

(Reuters) -Novavax Inc said on Friday it had started working on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant detected in South Africa and would have the shot ready for testing and manufacturing in the next few weeks.

The company's COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus' spike protein that cannot cause disease but can trigger the immune system. The vaccine developer said it had started developing a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.

"The initial work will take a few weeks," a company spokesperson said. Shares of the company closed up nearly 9% on Friday.

Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX)'s vaccine received its first emergency use approval earlier this month in Indonesia followed by the Philippines.

The company has said it is on track to file for U.S. approval by the end of the year. It has also filed for approvals with the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada.

Other vaccine developers, including Germany's BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), have said they are testing the effectiveness of their shots against the new variant, which is named Omicron by the World Health Organisation.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) Inc said it had begun testing its vaccine candidate, INO-4800, to evaluate its effectiveness against the new variant. The company expects the testing to take about two weeks.

Inovio also said it was simultaneously designing a new vaccine candidate that specifically targeted Omicron.

"Best case scenario, INO-4800 ... will be completely resilient against omicron, but if that's not the case then we will have a newly designed vaccine ready to go if need be," said Kate Broderick, senior vice president of Inovio's R&D division.

Earlier this month, Inovio resumed a late-stage trial of its vaccine in the United States after 14 months on clinical hold.

Novavax developing vaccine that targets new COVID-19 variant
 

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Comments (4)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 26, 2021 7:49PM ET
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Way to raise capital, nothing more: Speaken from a vaccine maker with efficacy lower thn jnj. They run the price up and sell shares to raise their working capital.
Gordon Edgett
Gordon Edgett Nov 26, 2021 7:13PM ET
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Boy, word of a new varient and BOOM we have a vaccine for that. Good grief!
Zeb Fullmer
Zeb Fullmer Nov 26, 2021 7:11PM ET
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wow what a coincidence....
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Nov 26, 2021 6:20PM ET
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lol I'm sure it's ready to rock and roll..
 
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