Novavax begins human trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Gaithersburg, Md.-based pharmaceutical company Novavax began the first human study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine May 25, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Novavax has plans for 130 people ages 18 to 59 to participate in the study at two sites in Australia. The study, which should generate results in July, is examining the vaccine's safety and ability to produce an immune response.

Novavax’s vaccine, one of at least 10 being tested in people globally, is made of proteins resembling those on the surface of the novel coronavirus, which are meant to generate an immune response to the virus. If the trial yields positive results, the drugmaker will launch a second portion of the study to determine if the vaccine reduces the risk of COVID-19.

Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told The Wall Street Journal his team has taken the risk to expedite the vaccine's production before the study's completion. He said that Novavax could manufacture up to 100 million doses this year and possibly more than one billion in 2021.

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