Novavax has said that it expects its Covid-19 vaccine to remain an important part of the country’s immunization plan, as regulators work to develop a long-term strategy to protect the public from the virus. This comes after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted unanimously to swap in the bivalent shots now used as boosters for the vaccines given for primary series, which are based on the original virus and not tailored to specific variants. Novavax showed data that the company’s existing protein-based shot, when used as a booster, elicits a strong immune response even against new variants, even though its product doesn’t specifically target the new variants. However, the company is also prepared to deliver an updated vaccine following FDA guidance on strain change. The process of making a new, variant-specific vaccine would take about six months but cannot compete on speed with mRNA. But a company spokesperson stated that ensuring the availability and accessibility of various vaccine options should be a central focus in any strategy aimed at safeguarding public health against Covid-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 69% of US adults have completed a primary series, but only 15.5% have gotten an updated bivalent booster dose. Novavax is also working to develop a combination vaccine for Covid and the seasonal flu, now in a phase 2 study with data expected to come mid-year.
Novavax is a biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of vaccines and related products. The company's technology platform uses recombinant protein nanoparticle technology to create vaccines to prevent a broad range of infectious diseases. Novavax's vaccine candidates include a COVID-19 vaccine, called NVX-CoV2373, which has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020, and has been authorized for emergency use in several countries. The company is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.