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Novavax Report Positive Preclinical Data For NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 Vaccine Candidate Combination

Biotechnology company Novavax, Inc. (NVAX) announced Monday data from a preclinical study of the company's combination quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine (NanoFlu) and COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. The clinical studies of the combination vaccine are expected to begin by the end of the year.

The NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 combination vaccine demonstrated positive immune responses to both influenza and SARS-CoV-2. The combination vaccine elicited robust responses to both influenza A and B and protected against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The preclinical study found that the combination NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 vaccine induced functional influenza and COVID antibodies in ferrets. Hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and ACE2 receptor-inhibiting titers were comparable between immunization with the combination vaccine and with its respective component vaccines. Antibody titers were elevated two weeks after a single dose and increased even further two weeks following a second immunization.

Hamsters that received the combination NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 vaccine had elevated levels of SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG two weeks after the first immunization, which increased significantly after a second dose, with levels comparable to animals that received the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine alone. Human ACE2 receptor inhibiting antibody levels responded similarly.

When hamsters were challenged with SARS-CoV-2, animals immunized with NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 retained their body weight comparably to non-infected animals and those immunized with NVX-CoV2373 alone.

An examination of viral load in the upper and lower respiratory tract showed that little or no virus was detected four days after COVID-19 infection in animals immunized with NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 or with just NVX-CoV2373. Microscopic and macroscopic observations of the lungs showed no remarkable findings in animals immunized with either the combination vaccine or with NVX-CoV2373 alone.

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