Coronavirus breakthrough as Bill Gates backed vaccine enters Phase 1 trial

Grant Boone
May 28, 2020

Results are expected as soon as July 2020, and if things look good, the trial will be expanded around the world, including in the US.

The group noted that animal testing had indicated that the vaccine was effective in low doses and also highlighted that it would be able to manufacture at least 100m doses before the year's end.

The results of the first phase of clinical trials in Australia are expected to be known in July, Novavax said, and thousands of candidates in several countries would then become involved in a second phase.

"These results provide strong evidence that the vaccine candidate will be highly immunogenic in humans, potentially leading to protection from COVID - 19 and thus helping to control the spread of this disease", Novavax said.

"The vaccine does not contain any live virus and there's no challenge element - we're not exposing these people to any virus", he said.

While experts have predicted that a shot will likely take 12-18 months to develop, vaccines are seen by world leaders as the only real way to restart their stalled economies after months of sweeping lockdowns. The most common adverse reactions were mild pain at the injection site in 54 per cent (58/108) of the recipients, fever (46 per cent, 50/108), fatigue (44 per cent, 47/108), headache (39 per cent, 42/108) and muscle pain (17 per cent, 18/108).

Specifically, it was tested in giant vats of insect cells in a laboratory and was able to induce high immunogenicity and high levels of neutralizing antibodies required to fight off the deadly disease. AstraZeneca has already signed an agreement to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to the British government and it reiterated it hopes to start delivery in September.

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About a dozen experimental vaccines are in early stages of testing or poised to start, mostly in China, the United States and Europe.

Novavax stock was up 13% Tuesday after the company initiated testing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in people.

"Our investment in Novavax allows us to focus on manufacturing in parallel with the clinical development of the vaccine, so that if the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, we can make doses available to those who need them without delay", CEPI chief executive Richard Hatchett, said in a statement.

During the testing of the the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine, researchers will test participants' blood to monitor the type and amount of antibodies in their bodies.

The vaccine is genetically altered from an adenovirus, which are different viruses than coronaviruses.

As part of this, volunteers will be administered with two doses of the vaccine, 5 micrograms and 25 micrograms, with and without the company's Matrix-M™ adjuvant.

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