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Nov 30, 2020

Novavax gains after U.K. vaccine study fully enrolled

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Novavax Inc.’s stock reversed an premarket drop to climb as much as 6.6 per cent following other companies developing COVID-19 vaccines higher after the company said a study in the U.K. reached full enrollment and would have results soon.

A first look at results from that 15,000 person trial are expected in the first quarter. Meanwhile a large-scale study in the U.S. and Mexico was delayed for the second time.

The Phase 3 study was originally expected to kick off in mid-October before the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company pushed out the start date to the end of November. Novavax now expects the study to start in the coming weeks, the company said in a statement. Novavax is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to get a site from Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies set for commercial-scale production.

Vaccine leaders Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE already filed for an emergency use authorization for their shots while Moderna Inc. said it plans to file today. The Food and Drug Administration is set to meet on Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s inoculation and likely will discuss Moderna’s shot on Dec. 17, according to the company. The two leading shots use messenger-RNA technology while Novavax’s vaccine consists of synthetic spike proteins grown in moth cells.

Novavax has surged more than 3,160 per cent this year. Its program is backed by US$1.6 billion funding from Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government’s plan for accelerating the development of protective inoculations for the novel coronavirus.