As the race for the COVID-19 cure is heating up, many questions are continuously being asked. One of those considers the priority of getting the vaccine first. If it’s to believe Stanley Erck, CEO of vaccine development company Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX), everybody who is working on the first lines of the COVID-19 pandemic will be first to receive a vaccine and that could come already later this year.
Yesterday Novavax (NVAX) stock rose by 4.47% to trade at $48.17. Today in the pre-market the NVAX stock price continues growing. Now it is 5.71% up, at $50.92.
Novavax also announced that it has started a phase one clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate with the first preliminary results expected to be in July.
“I think everybody agrees that the first broad distribution will be to the front-line workers, the health-care workers. If our phase two data support the safety and immunogenicity that we hope it will and we’re able to see a signal for efficacy, it’s possible that that first line would be vaccinated some time in the fourth quarter of this year.”
Novavax is amidst numerous companies that have joined the race for a COVID-19 cure as the world’s largest pharmaceutical giants and biotech companies even halted other research into different diseases in order to speed up the development of a coronavirus vaccine. The virus has infected almost 5.7 million people around the globe since it first surfaced in Wuhan, China, approximately six months ago.
Crowded Space for Vaccine Development
The eco-system of companies who are trying to produce a successful vaccine is widening every day and it’s pretty much crowded. It includes big and small drug producers as well as numerous biotech companies, such as Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), Prizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN), Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY), GlaxoSmithKline Plc (LON: GSK) and Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK).
Novavax has a long way to go in order to prove that its vaccine candidate is both safe for people’s use and actually effective in conquering the virus. Erck noted the phase one trial will firstly confirm that the vaccine is safe while the phase two trial will conclude whether it’s effective.
Novavax, the same as other companies developing a vaccine candidate, began to develop its ability to produce the potential cure even before it’s been approved, all in order to cut some months off the delivery date if it proves safe and effective.
Novavax Vaccine Price Still Unknown
Still, the price of any potential vaccine remains unknown for now. Erck commented that Novavax intends to price its potential vaccine on a tiered approach based on affordability.
“There’s got to be broad distribution. There’s got to be equitable access. There will certainly be tiered pricing depending upon affordability so that the vaccine can be used globally.”
Novavax already said earlier this month that the European nonprofit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations will give more than $384 million in order to speed up the evolvement of the company’s potential cure.