Maryland biotech advances COVID-influenza combo vaccine

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax, whose protein-based COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available, is advancing clinical trials for a COVID vaccine that would also protect against influenza.

The Phase 2 trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of different formulations of the COVID/flu combination. The dose confirming trial will include adults ages 50 through 80.

“We believe that like influenza, COVID-19 will also be seasonal moving forward, and that there is room in the market for new alternatives to provide better protection against the impact of influenza, particularly in older adults, and to explore the potential to combine this with protection from COVID,” said Novavax chief executive Stanley Erck.

The Phase 2 clinical trials will enroll 2,300 participants in Australia and New Zealand, with initial trial results in mid-2023.

Novavax received U.S. regulatory emergency use authorization for its existing COVID-19 vaccine in July, and subsequent approval this fall for its use as a booster shot.

This week, Novavax raised $250 million in a stock and debt offering — capital it will use for ongoing research and development, as well as other business expenses.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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