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Novavax trials in Australia for coronavirus vaccine candidate

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Novavax trials in Australia for coronavirus vaccine candidate

A U.S. biotechnology firm, Novavax, started injecting a candidate for a coronavirus vaccine into people in Australia on Tuesday hoping to release a proven vaccine this year.

In the first phase of the trial, Novavax will inject 131 volunteers to test the vaccine’s safety and look for signs of its effectiveness, said research chief Gregory Glenn of the firm.

Around a dozen new coronavirus vaccines are either in the early stages of development or ready to launch, mainly in China , the United States and Europe. It’s unclear whether anyone will prove safe and effective. But many work in different ways, and are made with different technologies, increasing the odds that at least one approach could be successful.

Novavax’s trials

“We ‘re doing doses in parallel. Making vaccines in anticipation that we’ll be able to show it’s working and start deploying it by the end of this year”. Glenn told a virtual news conference in Melbourne, headquartered in Maryland, Novavax.

Animal tests showed the vaccine would be safe in small doses. He said Novavax will deliver at least 100 million doses this year and 1.5 billion in 2021.

The vaccine manufacturer, named NVX-CoV2373, has been scaled up with $388 million invested. Since March by the Norway-based Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness, Glenn said.

“We expect that the results of the first phase of clinical trials in Melbourne and Brisbane will appear in July”. Novavax said. Thousands of candidates would then get into it in a second phase in several countries.

The trial started on Tuesday when six volunteers got injects with the new vaccine in Melbourne. Paul Griffin, an authority on infectious disease with Australian partner Nucleus Network said.

Most of the ongoing experimental vaccines aim to train the immune system to recognize the “spike” protein. It studies the outer surface of the coronavirus. Priming the body to react if it is in contact with the virus itself. Some candidates are using only the genetic code for that protein. Others also use a harmless virus to deliver the information that produces the protein. Other candidates for the vaccine are still more old-fashioned, made from dead, whole viruses.

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