Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, and Israel’s Ministry of Health today announced an agreement for the purchase of NVX-CoV2373, the company’s recombinant nanoparticle protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate with Matrix-M™ adjuvant.
“Israel has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and has demonstrated strong leadership throughout the pandemic,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. “We thank the Israeli Ministry of Health for their commitment to providing a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine option, based on well-understood technology, to the people of Israel.”
Under the advance purchase agreement, Novavax will provide an initial 5 million doses of its protein-based vaccine with an option for Israel to purchase an additional 5 million doses. Novavax will work with the Ministry of Health to obtain the necessary authorizations and finalize plans for distribution in Israel pending regulatory approval.
Novavax is conducting two pivotal ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials: PREVENT-19 which enrolled approximately 30,000 participants in the U.S. and Mexico, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM); and a trial with almost 15,000 participants in the U.K. which was also published in NEJM. In both trials, the vaccine demonstrated high efficacy with a reassuring safety profile. Serious and severe adverse events were low in number and balanced between vaccine and placebo groups. The most common adverse reactions observed during clinical studies (frequency category of very common ≥1/10) were headache, nausea or vomiting, myalgia, arthralgia, injection site tenderness/pain, fatigue, and malaise. Novavax will continue to collect and analyze real-world data, including the monitoring of safety and the evaluation of variants, as the vaccine is distributed.
Novavax received conditional marketing authorization for NVX-CoV2373 in the European Union and emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO), among others. The vaccine is also currently under review by multiple regulatory agencies worldwide. The company submitted its complete chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) data package to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the end of 2021 and expects to submit a request for EUA for the vaccine in the U.S. after one month in accordance with guidance from the FDA regarding submission of all EUA vaccines.
NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is formulated with Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19.
Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine is packaged as a ready-to-use liquid formulation in a vial containing ten doses. The vaccination regimen calls for two 0.5 ml doses (5 mcg antigen and 50 mcg Matrix-M adjuvant) given intramuscularly 21 days apart. The vaccine is stored at 2°- 8° Celsius, enabling the use of existing vaccine supply and cold chain channels. Use of the vaccine should be in accordance with official recommendations.
Novavax has established partnerships for the manufacture, commercialization and distribution of NVX-CoV2373 worldwide. Existing authorizations leverage Novavax’ manufacturing partnership with Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume. They will later be supplemented with data from additional manufacturing sites throughout Novavax’ global supply chain.
About the NVX-CoV2373 Phase 3 trials
NVX-CoV2373 is being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 trials.
PREVENT-19, a trial in the U.S. and Mexico that enrolled almost 30,000 participants, achieved 90.4% efficacy overall. It was designed as a 2:1 randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373. The primary endpoint for PREVENT-19 was the first occurrence of PCR-confirmed symptomatic (mild, moderate or severe) COVID-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose in serologically negative (to SARS-CoV-2) adult participants at baseline. The statistical success criterion included a lower bound of 95% CI >30%. The key secondary endpoint is the prevention of PCR-confirmed, symptomatic moderate or severe COVID-19. Both endpoints were assessed at least seven days after the second study vaccination in volunteers who had not been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. It was generally well-tolerated and elicited a robust antibody response after the second dose in both studies. Full results of the trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
A trial conducted in the U.K. with 14,039 participants was designed as a randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded study and achieved overall efficacy of 89.7%. The primary endpoint was based on the first occurrence of PCR-confirmed symptomatic (mild, moderate or severe) COVID-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second study vaccination in serologically negative (to SARS-CoV-2) adult participants at baseline. Full results of the trial were published in NEJM.
About Matrix-M™ Adjuvant
Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant has demonstrated a potent and generally well-tolerated effect by stimulating the entry of antigen-presenting cells into the injection site and enhancing antigen presentation in local lymph nodes, boosting immune response.