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Maryland-based Novavax said dosing for the Phase 1 clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate would begin Monday.
"Administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID‑19 pandemic," Novavax President and CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a statement. "We look forward to sharing the clinical results in July and, if promising, quickly initiating the Phase 2 portion of the trial."
Phase 1 includes approximately 130 participants ages 18 to 59 in Australia. The first patient will be dosed Monday evening, although it will be Tuesday morning local time.
If Phase 1 is successful, Novavax will follow up with Phase 2 in multiple countries including the U.S. using participants in a broader age range.
Novavax's efforts to fight coronavirus are supported by $388 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, which is billionaire Bill Gates' brainchild. Novavax said it's CEPI's largest investment ever.
Another U.S. biotech company, Massachusetts-based Moderna, has already started a Phase 1 trial for its vaccine candidate and is reporting optimistic results, making shares jump last week.