U.S. biotech company Novavax is “confident” in its ability to scale up to 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year after starting Phase 1 trials on a vaccine candidate on Monday, Novavax president of research and development Gregory Glenn said on Tuesday.
“I’m very optimistic with our data that we can come out with a vaccine that’s deployable, that could work,” Glenn said. “We think we could make 100 million doses by the end of the year for use.”
Novavax coronavirus vaccine tests
“We normally wait. Confirm it’s working, and then you scale it up. We’re not waiting. We’ve begun to scale up to make a vaccine that can be deployed,” Glenn said.
If its vaccine candidate works, Novavax could scale up to 1.5 billion doses “at least” in 2021, in part thanks to $388 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, Glenn said.
Maryland-based Novavax just began dosing for the Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia. If Phase 1 is successful, Novavax will follow up with Phase 2 in multiple countries including the U.S. using participants in a broader age range.
“Vaccines are really miracles. They change lives,” Glenn said. “People could walk out the door knowing they’re protected. That would be a complete change in the environment we’re in.”
Other companies with potential vaccines
Another U.S. biotech company, Massachusetts-based Moderna, has already started a Phase 1 trial for its vaccine candidate and is reporting optimistic results, making shares jump last week.
Japanese biotech company, Takara Bio Inc is also commencing trials with production facilities ready. Takara partnered with bio company AnGes and Osaka University to develop the DNA COVID-19 vaccine.