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The company’s head of research, Dr. Gregory Glenn said that in the first phase of the trial, Novavax asked 131 volunteers to test the vaccine’s safety and look for indications of its effectiveness.
About a dozen experimental vaccines against coronaviruses are in the initial phase of testing or are set to begin, mostly in China, the US and Europe. It is unclear whether any will prove to be safe and effective. But many work in different ways, and are done with different techniques, increasing the odds that at least one approach can succeed.
Glenn said at a virtual news conference in Melbourne from the headquarters of Novax, “We will be able to make the dose in parallel, make the vaccine in anticipation, which we are working to show and will be able to start it by the end of this year.” ” Maryland
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Animal testing suggested that the vaccine is effective in low doses. He said that Novax could manufacture at least 100 million doses this year and 1.5 billion in 2021.
Glenn said the creation of the vaccine, named NVX-COV 2373, has been investing $ 388 million by the Norway-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation since March.
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Novax said the results of the first phase of clinical trials in Melbourne and Brisbane are expected to be known in July. Thousands of candidates from many countries will join the second phase after this.
On Tuesday, six volunteers were being injected with a potential vaccine in Melbourne, infectious disease specialist Paul Griffin of the Australian affiliate Nucleus Network said.
Most of the progression vaccines aim to train the immune system to recognize the “spike” protein that studs the outer surface of the coronovirus, priming the body to react if it was exposed to the actual virus. Some candidates are made using just the genetic code for that protein, and others use a harmless virus to provide information that makes up the protein. Still other vaccine candidates are more old-fashioned, created with dead, whole viruses.
Novavax adds another new variant to that list, called a recombinant vaccine. Novavax used genetic engineering to develop harmless copies of coronavirus spike proteins in giant vats of insect cells in a laboratory. The scientists extracted and purified the protein, and packed it into virus-shaped nanoparticles.
“We never touch a virus the way we make a vaccine,” Novax told The Associated Press last month. But eventually, “it looks like a virus to the immune system.”
This is the same process that Novavax used to make the nanoparticle flu vaccine that recently underwent late-stage testing.
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