Novavax in May Will Start Human Testing on Coronavirus Vaccine

Novavax identified a coronavirus-vaccine candidate and in May will start testing it on humans.
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Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Report said it had identified a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate and would begin human trials in mid-May.

The Gaithersburg, Md., late-stage biotech said preliminary immunogenicity and safety results from the trial were expected in July.

“This is strong evidence that the vaccine created by Novavax has the potential to be highly immunogenic in humans, which could lead to protection from covid-19 and helping to control the spread of this disease,” Matthew Frieman, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a statement.

At least a dozen pharmaceutical companies are working on treatments to help those suffering from the deadly respiratory disease.

 On Monday, Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Report said it would accelerate production of its nascent coronavirus treatment and provide more than 1 million free doses to patients suffering severe symptoms. 

Last month Novavax said it had received $4 million of funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Launched in 2017, CEPI is a global partnership among public, private, civil and philanthropic groups to develop vaccines to stop epidemics.

In February, the company said it was beginning animal testing for its potential coronavirus vaccine candidates. 

Also last month, Novavax said its NanoFlu treatment for seasonal flu achieved all primary endpoints in a Phase III trial for adults 65 and older. 

At last check Novavax shares were up 11% at $16.54.

More than 1.44 million people have been reported infected by the coronavirus across the world and 83,149 have died, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE.