Novavax into Clinical Trials

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) saw its shares rocket Friday, a day after it launched a large-scale diverse Phase 3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom.

The drug maker out of Gaithersburg, Maryland, said the study will enroll up to 100,000 individuals, aged between 18-84 years of age, with and without relevant comorbidities.

NVAX said that the trial is being conducted in partnership with the U.K. government’s Vaccines Taskforce and will last over the next four to six weeks.

The drug maker will enroll at least 25% of participants over the age of 65 to prioritize groups it said were most affected by COVID-19, which includes racial and ethnic minorities.

Novavax said it has secured $2 billion in funding for its worldwide vaccine program, which includes $388 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, co-founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Company official Gregory Glenn said, "With a high level of SARS-CoV-2 transmission observed and expected to continue in the U.K., we are optimistic that this pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial will enroll quickly and provide a near-term view of NVX-CoV2373’s efficacy.

"The data from this trial is expected to support regulatory submissions for licensure in the U.K., European Union and other countries. We are grateful for the support of the UK Government, including from its Department of Health and Social Care and National Institute for Health Research, to advance this important research."

Novavax has continued to scale-up its manufacturing capacity, currently at up to two billion annualized doses, once all capacity has been brought online by mid-2021.

NVAX shares took on $3.65, or 3.7%, to $106.18.