Stanley Erck, Novavax CEO, said Monday that his company is at the “tipping point” with its COVID vaccine, noting that the two-dose series will be “very effective” against the highly contagious strain of Omicron .
At “Varney & Co.” however, he admitted that “nobody really has efficacy data”.
He noted that efficacy data are available from the company’s Phase 3 clinical trials “showing our vaccine is between 90 and 100% effective” against the original strain and Delta variant.
“Now we have data that we recently published in a paper that shows that we get a very strong response with Omicron after two doses and then, if you boost it after six months, the antibodies to Omicron go up many times over “, he continued. “So we think it will be very effective against Omicron.”
Novavax reported last summer that a study of 30,000 people in the US and Mexico found their vaccine safe and 90% effective against symptomatic infections of previous variants. The results were similar to those of a study of 15,000 people in the UK. A follow-up study found that a booster dose might help deal with the Delta variant.
Erck noted on Monday that the company is in the process of “making quite a few cans and getting them out”.
He made the comments about two months after it was revealed that the company reportedly faced significant hurdles in manufacturing vaccines, delaying its rollout by months.
In July 2020, the U.S. government awarded Novavax $ 1.6 billion to help develop the test and manufacture its coronavirus vaccine. However, several sources familiar with the matter told Politico in October that Novavax has been unable to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine that meets the Food and Drug Administration’s purity standards.
Novavax noted analysis and testing problems in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, sources reportedly alleged the company’s problems were more worrying than previously thought.
The United Nations-backed COVAX initiative, which aims to provide low and middle income countries with billions of doses of COVID-19, forecast in September that it can provide a total of 1.425 billion doses and 2 billion by the end of the year Doses until the first quarter of 2022. However, Politico’s sources warned the international vaccination campaign could likely miss its targets due to the potential production problems.
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Speaking of “Varney & Co.” On Monday, Erck said his company “shipped 10 million doses to Indonesia last week, so we are bringing out our vaccine”.
“This is a really positive moment for the company,” he emphasized.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization gave the coronavirus vaccine, known as CovavaxTM, manufactured by Novavax, an emergency clearance that paved the way for its inclusion in the UN-sponsored program to deliver vaccines to poorer countries around the world.
The Novavax vaccine was the ninth to receive emergency clearance from the UN Health Authority, which is a vote of confidence in the company.
It has long been expected that the vaccine will help increase the global vaccine supply as it only needs to be refrigerated compared to other vaccines that require colder storage.
On Monday, Erck also found that Novavax had received an emergency permit in Indonesia and the Philippines.
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“We have applied for approvals from several supervisory authorities,” he stated on Monday. “We started with Indonesia and the Philippines. We recently received approval in Europe for the vaccine and WHO, the World Health Organization.”
He said the company plans to file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week.
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Lucas Manfredi of FOX Business and The Associated Press contributed to this report.