December 2, 2021
As Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) works to get its Covid-19 vaccine to the world and develops a Gaithersburg campus to manufacture its product long term, the biotech is putting another priority at the top of its list: adapting its vaccine to the Omicron variant.
The company said Thursday it’s implementing “a two-pronged variant strategy” that includes assessing how its existing vaccine — not yet to market in the U.S. — protects against the new variant of concern. It also involves developing a vaccine tailored specifically to the Omicron variant.
As part of the first prong of that response, Novavax plans to evaluate in its ongoing studies whether its vaccine induces an immune response, and to what extent. The biotech also plans to test whether antibodies in people who received the vaccine previously protect them from the Omicron variant “with lab-based data expected in the coming weeks,” it said in its statement.
Then there’s Part 2.
“The initial steps required to manufacture an Omicron-specific spike are underway,” Novavax said Thursday. Its team will start assessing the vaccine, matched to the new strain, within a few weeks, and will shoot to start manufacturing that vaccine in January, according to Novavax.
Novavax uses what’s called recombinant nanoparticle technology in its vaccine, making it different from messenger RNA and viral-vector vaccines. It’s the same platform Novavax uses for its experimental seasonal flu and other vaccines, but it swaps in the genetic sequence for the coronavirus in place of the other antigens to fight Covid. Read More