Two more coronavirus vaccine candidates are on their way to join the global vaccine pool. Novavax and Johnson & Johnson have said that their coronavirus vaccine candidates have shown encouraging Phase 3 trial results. Both these have tie-ups with Indian companies, meaning that they could soon be approved for use.
Novavax has said that its coronavirus vaccine NVX-CoV2373 demonstrated 90 per cent efficacy in Phase 3 trials in the UK. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which is single-dose, showed 66 per cent overall efficacy and 85 per cent efficacy in preventing death across all age and ethnic groups.
"The potential to significantly reduce the burden of severe disease, by providing an effective and well-tolerated vaccine with just one immunisation, is a critical component of the global public health response," said Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at J&J.
J&J plans to seek emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration next week. It has said it plans to deliver 1 billion doses in 2021 and will produce the vaccine in the United States, Europe, South Africa and India.
J&J said the vaccine would be ready immediately upon emergency approval, but Stoffels declined to say how many doses. None of the vaccine recipients in the J&J trial died from COVID-19, compared with 5 in the placebo group, the National Institutes of Health said. Three deaths in the vaccine group overall, but none were determined to be from the virus. That compares with 16 deaths overall in the placebo arm, it added.
J&J's vaccine does not require a second shot, making it a strong candidate for parts of the world where transportation and cold storage are an issue.
Meanwhile, the Novavax candidate showed 89.3 per cent overall efficacy, and 85.6 per cent against the new UK variant. However, against the South African variant, it showed 60 per cent efficacy.
Novavax has a tie-up with Serum Institute of India (SII) and J&J with Hyderabad-based Biological E.