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Coronavirus Update: Vaccine News From Sanofi and Novovax

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, Sept. 3. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 26 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 863,000 deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 6.1 million cases with over 185,000 deaths.

Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 30,409 new cases reported Wednesday, which is down from the 42,401 reported on Tuesday. 644,842 new tests were reported. And 1,021 deaths were reported yesterday, which is pretty much on par with the 1,022 deaths on Sept. 1. per the data collected by the Tracking Project.

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline

There’s some good news from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline--which have teamed up on a vaccine candidate together--the two announced that it’s begun a combined Phase ½ trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. This comes after promising preclinical results that could put it on track to begin late-stage clinical trials before year-end.

The companies said that they launched human studies of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate at 11 sites across the U.S. The phase-compressed trial, one of several being backed by the U.S. government’s “Operation Warp Speed,” combines the early and middle stages of clinical tests into one.

For the trial, the companies are recruiting 440 adults at 11 trial sites to test out the vaccine. The trials will be randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday told governors around the U.S. to begin preparing to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as Nov. 1. It also provided planning scenarios to help states prepare.

And Then We Have Novovax

Novovax has early-stage clinical trial results show that its vaccine candidate is safe and that it elicits an immune response.

The results were published in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study says that the phase 1 clinical trial shows that the candidate “appeared to be safe, and it elicited immune responses that exceeded levels in COVID-19 convalescent serum.”

Following this study, Novavax said it plans to continue with broader phase 2 studies this month to see whether the vaccine protects against COVID-19.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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