Coronavirus vaccine in 90 days, goal for Maryland biotech firm

The company made an Ebola vaccine in 90 days

Maryland-based Novavax is aiming to make a coronavirus vaccine in as little as three months, although such vaccines can take years to develop.

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Novavax's president of research and development confirmed to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP that the company has the coronavirus gene.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NVAXNOVAVAX INC.113.56+11.12+10.86%

"I can confirm we have the gene, and that’s the blueprint for our vaccine," Novavax's Dr. Gregory Glenn said. "We’re on the way."

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The company made an ebola vaccine in 90 days, Glenn told WTOP.

Commuters wear face masks to protect themselves from air pollution and new virus in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

"I would just say 90 days from the sequence being identified to starting the clinic — that’s the speed of light for vaccines," he said. "We’re hoping to meet something close to that or exceed it if possible."

His team is working nearly 24/7.

"They see the disaster going on in China and spreading, and it portends a very worrisome scenario for the rest of the world," Glenn said. "That motivates everybody."

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The virus has infected more than 24,500 people globally, with nearly all cases and deaths concentrated in China.

Shares of Novavax shot up in January on word that the Food and Drug Administration opted to fast track its recombinant quadrivalent flu vaccine, NanoFlu, for adults aged 65 years and older. The company's stock didn't seem to get a boost from its coronavirus news, however.

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The Associated Press and FOX Business' Shawn M. Carter contributed to this report.