Novavax begins clinical trial for combined influenza and COVID vaccine

pharmafile | September 9, 2021 | News story | |   

US vaccine developer Novavax has announced the initiation of an early stage clinical trial investigating its combined influenza and COVID-19 vaccine.

The trial will enrol 640 healthy adults, between the ages of 50 and 70 years, who have either been previously infected with the coronavirus or given an authorised COVID-19 vaccine at least eight weeks prior to the study.

The study will be conducted at up to 12 study sites across Australia.

Participants will receive a combination of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, and its Influenza shot NanoFlu along with an adjuvant or vaccine booster.

Gregory Glenn, President of Research and Development at Novavax, said: “Combination of these two vaccines…may lead to greater efficiencies for the healthcare system and achieve high levels of protection against COVID-19 and influenza with a single regimen.”

Novavax had said in May it expects seasonal influenza and COVID-19 combination vaccines to likely be critical in combating emerging COVID-19 variants. Its vaccine NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 had elicited robust responses to both influenza A and B and protected against the coronavirus in pre-clinical studies.

In the preclinical trials hamsters that received the combined vaccine had heightened levels of COVID-19 antibodies two weeks after the first immunization, which increased significantly after a second dose, compared to animals that received the COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.

Results are expected from the trial in the first half of 2022.

The company is also planning to submit data for its COVID-19 standalone vaccine to the FDA for approval.

The vaccine is administered in two doses, just like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs, and showed promise in clinical trials.

Unlike those shots, though, it is not an mRNA vaccine, but instead a ‘protein subunit’ shot.

This type of vaccine has been used for decades, and uses a purified protein from the virus and inserts it into the body to trigger an immune response.

Kat Jenkins

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