Washington: Novavax has developed a new vaccine that works on both COVID-19 and the flu and triggers an immune response against each virus like its stand-alone shots. This is what the company said. CNBC reported that according to Chief Medical Officer Philip Dubowski, the company’s early-stage clinical trial found that up to 25 micrograms of the COVID formulation, up to 35 micrograms of the flu formulation, lead to a promising level of protective antibodies.
“What we have shown in this study is that we are able to elicit an immune response that is really effective compared to individual vaccines before the combination,” Dubowski is quoted as saying.
Unlike mRNA vaccines, Novavax’s shots completely synthesize the virus spike outside the human body. The spike’s genetic code is inserted into a baculovirus, which infects insect cells, which then produce copies of the spike, which are purified and extracted.
The spike copy, which cannot replicate or cause Covid, is injected into people to induce an immune response against the virus, the report said.
The vaccine also uses an adjuvant, also used in vaccines against malaria and herpes, to induce a broad immune response that contains a pure extract of the bark of a tree native to South America.
Novavax’s stand-alone COVID shots contain 5 micrograms of Spike Copy and 50 micrograms of Adjuvant. The same technology has been used to make its stand-alone flu vaccine, which targets four variants of the virus.
Novavax presented the data Wednesday at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC. The company said that the average age of participants in the Phase I trial for its new vaccine was 59 years and they had all received their first vaccine for COVID-19.
Dubowski said Novavax aims to begin a phase two trial this year to confirm the findings and a phase III trial on efficacy during the flu season in 2023 as soon as possible.
Even public health experts expect COVID to become like a seasonal virus affecting the respiratory system. Vaccine manufacturers are trying to develop combination shots that target both types of viruses.
“Combination vaccines are an attractive public health intervention. You can eliminate two life-threatening diseases with a single vaccination in one medical contact,” Dubowski said.
Dubowski said that Novavax does not currently have an authorized Covid vaccine in the US. It had asked the Food and Drug Administration in January to authorize its COVID vaccine. However, the FDA is still reviewing Novavax’s application.
first published:April 25, 2022, 3:36 p.m.