Coronavirus breakthrough as Bill Gates backed vaccine enters Phase 1 trial

NOVAVAX has entered into a Phase 1 vaccine trial after receiving millions of dollars from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI).

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The CEPI is a product of Bill Gates’s charity and a consortium of nations funding vaccine development, and was founded in 2015.

The Maryland based pharmaceutical company will begin Phase 1 clinical trials on Monday.

Phase 1 includes approximately 130 participants ages 18 to 59 in Australia.

Novavax President and CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a statement: “Administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID‑19 pandemic.

“We look forward to sharing the clinical results in July and, if promising, quickly initiating the Phase 2 portion of the trial.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus breakthrough as patients stop being infectious after two weeks

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NOVAVAX has entered into a Phase 1 vaccine trial after receiving millions of dollars from CEPI (Image: PA)

Novavax

The Maryland based pharmaceutical company will begin Phase 1 clinical trials on Monday. Phase 1 includes approximately 130 participants ages 18 to 59 in Australia.  (Image: PA)

The first patient will be dosed Monday evening, it will be Tuesday morning in Maryland.

If Phase 1 is successful, Novavax will follow up with Phase 2 in multiple countries including the U.S. using participants in a broader age range.

Novavax’s efforts to fight coronavirus are supported by $388 million from CEPI.

Novavax said it’s CEPI’s largest investment ever.

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Worldwide coronavirus cases as of Monday May 25 (Image: Express)

The CEPI has backed 10 vaccine candidates worldwide.

CEPI said it will fund preclinical as well as Phase I and Phase II studies of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’s candidate.

CEPI’s funding is also intended to support the transfer of NVX-CoV2373 technology to manufacturing partners worldwide.

In addition, CEPI and Novavax said, the funding will allow the company to begin the manufacture of a potential 100 million vaccine doses by year’s end, with the company ramping up to potentially over one billion doses during 2021.

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The CEPI has backed 10 vaccine candidates worldwide. CEPI said it will fund preclinical as well as Phase I and Phase II studies of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’s candidate. (Image: PA)

Jane Halton, the chair of CEPI, has warned a coronavirus vaccine will result in “significant” calls to supply locals first, a form of “vaccine nationalism” that will leave all worse off.

If a vaccine is identified, production should be “globally distributed” to guard against “vaccine nationalism”, she said.

Halton said a vaccine is critical to returning to work, global trade and tourism, and continued: “so if we have vaccine nationalism, and one country looks after itself first, and at the expense of the rest of the world, everyone is going to continue to suffer.”

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It comes as US president Donald Trump’s administration announced ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to fastback vaccine development. (Image: PA)

Another U.S. biotech company, Massachusetts-based Moderna, has already started a Phase 1 trial for its vaccine candidate and is reporting optimistic results.

It comes as US president Donald Trump’s administration announced ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to fastback vaccine development.

The US Department of Health and Human Services and AstraZeneca are collaborating to make available at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine called AZD1222, with the first doses delivered as early as October 2020.

The agreement between AstraZeneca and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, will accelerate the development and manufacturing of the company’s investigational vaccine to begin Phase 3 clinical studies this summer with approximately 30,000 volunteers in the United States.

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