December 3, 2020
Glaxo-Backed Vaccine Shows Strong Immune Response in Early Trial (5:23 p.m. HK)
A Covid-19 vaccine project supported by GlaxoSmithKline Plc is headed for advanced trials after showing a strong immune response in early studies. Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc. of China said its shot induced neutralizing antibodies and proved to be safe in a study of 150 adults and elderly volunteers. The vaccine uses adjuvants — agents that boost a vaccine’s response — from both Glaxo and Dynavax Technologies Corp. Reference
Sweden Aims to Get 2 Million Vaccines in First Quarter (5:16 p.m. HK)
Sweden expects to get enough Covid-19 vaccines to immunize a fifth of the population in the first quarter of 2021, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Friday.
The nation has secured vaccines from Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., AstraZeneca Plc, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc and CureVac NV through European Union agreements. Immunizations are scheduled to start on a smaller scale in January, with 4 million doses — enough for 2 million people – expected to be delivered by the end of March.
The vaccination program will give priority to residents and staff at care homes, as well as the elderly receiving assistance at home, Public Health Agency director-general Johan Carlson said at a news briefing. Reference
Bloomberg: Tracking the Coronavirus Vaccines That Will End the Pandemic
Bloomberg is tracking nine of the most promising vaccines around the globe, from national procurement deals to shots in patients’ arms. By our count, at least 7.85 billion doses have already been allotted.
It’s enough to cover half the world’s population (most vaccines use two doses), if the shots were distributed evenly. That, however, isn’t likely. Rich countries have hedged their bets with extensive supply deals, and ultra-cold storage requirements make some vaccines difficult to deliver to far-flung places. Reference
Israel in negotiations with Novavax to purchase COVID-19 vaccine
Israel is in negotiations with the Maryland-based biotech company Novavax to receive its vaccine candidate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.
All of the new vaccines are based on the viral spike protein. However, whereas Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine candidates are based on the gene of the spike protein, Novovax vaccine is a subunit vaccine that is based on the spike protein itself.
This is the same type of vaccine as the hepatitis B surface antigen vaccine that is given to babies at birth.News of the potentially new contract comes on the same day that the number of red and orange zones across Israel increased, as the Health Ministry shifted the criteria for labeling cities within the traffic light program on Wednesday. Reference
Novavax: Several Catalysts on the Horizon
Novavax, NVX-CoV2373 is currently in a Phase 3 trial in the U.K. and a phase 2b study in South Africa, both of which are now fully enrolled. While the U.S. & Mexico Phase 3 has been delayed, it is expected to kick off “in the coming weeks.”
All could serve as near-term catalysts, according to Mamtani.
An interim data readout from the U.K. study could get an airing possibly this month. The 5-star analyst expects NVX-CoV2373 to “demonstrate best-in-class VE & reactogenicity profile, thereby making the case for pursuing licensure across several nations globally in 1Q.”
While the U.S Phase 3 data will only be available sometime in 2021 (possibly 1H), the late stage study’s initiation could serve as an “incremental catalyst before YE20.”
Novavax could also get an additional boost from other programs’ vaccine data which did not quite attain the same lofty heights as Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s offerings.
“We anticipate incremental Ph. III mixed data updates noted with AZ as well as JNJ’s single-dose JNJ-78436735 to possibly serve as tailwinds with NVAX’s global supply scale-up efforts positioning it favorably to pick up significant demand share away particularly in 2022+ timeframe when demand wouldn’t necessarily outpace supply in an effort to vaccinate several billions globally, likely on a recurring basis,” Mamtani summed up. Reference