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UK trial of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates 89.3% efficacy

Vaccine demonstrated 60% efficacy in South Africa study

A UK trial of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 89.3%, with the jab also found to be effective against the UK coronavirus variant.

The phase 3 clinical trial, conducted in partnership with the UK government’s Vaccines Task Force, enrolled more than 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, with 27% over the age of 65.

The first interim analysis is based on 62 PCR-confirmed, symptomatic COVID-19 cases. Within this case number, 56 cases were observed in the placebo versus six in the vaccinated group – resulting in a vaccine efficacy of 89.3%.

Only one severe case of COVID-19 occurred in the placebo group, while all the other cases were found to be mild or moderate.

In addition, preliminary analysis found that the UK variant was detected in over 50% of the PCR-confirmed cases – with 32 cases being caused by the UK variant, 24 by the non-variant and six ‘unknown’.

Based on this information, Novavax calculated that its vaccine is 95.6% effective against the original COVID-19 strain and 85.6% effective against the UK variant.

“Good news that the Novavax vaccine has proved effective in UK trials. Thank you to all the volunteers who made these results possible,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted yesterday evening.

“Our medicines regulator will now assess the vaccine, which will be made in Teesside. If approved, we have 60 [million] doses on order,” he added.

The UK government signed a deal with Novavax in August 2020 for the initial 60 million doses. As part of that deal, Novavax partnered with the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for the phase 3 trial.

Novavax also partnered with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture certain components of the vaccine in the UK.

Alongside the UK trial results announcement, Novavax also published data from a phase 2b trial conducted in South Africa.

In this trial, the vaccine’s efficacy came in lower than that observed in the UK trial, demonstrating 60% efficacy in the prevention of COVID-19. Within the study, 29 COVID-19 cases were observed in the placebo group and 15 in the vaccine group.

The study enrolled over 4,400 people from August 2020, with COVID-19 cases counted from September 2020 through to mid-January 2021.

In this time period, the South African variant – which contains three critical mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the virus – was widely circulating.

According to Novavax’s preliminary sequencing data, which was available for 27 of the 44 COVID-19 events in the study, 92.6% were caused by the South African variant.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

29th January 2021

From: Research

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