With strong results in hand from the phase I stage of its phase I/II study testing a would-be COVID-19 subunit vaccine, Novavax Inc.’s president of R&D, Gregory Glenn, said “it’s possible we could go down in the dose” as work proceeds and get similar efficacy.
The devastating societal and economic effects caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should sound a warning bell on how ill-prepared we are in our ability to fight lethal infectious diseases for which no effective therapies or vaccines currently exist. Indirectly, the intense public attention on companies that are engaged in developing COVID-19 cures is also spilling over to companies researching to uncover new anti-infectives that will be needed to replace the diminishing arsenal of effective therapies to combat drug-resistant bacteria and fungi. This is certainly evident among public companies in the space, with the BioWorld Infectious Diseases index showing an increasing upward trend since the beginning of the year. At market close on May 11, the index had, in fact, grown in value by a whopping 47%.
Novavax Inc., one of the first biopharma companies to reveal its efforts to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in January, has identified a prefusion protein for testing in an Australian phase I trial, slated to start in mid-May.