Health  |  News & Politics

Novavax Says Its Covid-19 Vaccine Is Effective

The Gaithersburg-based biotech hopes to soon get approval for its vaccine.

Photo-illustration by Jenny Rosenberg.

A Covid-19 vaccine developed by Gaithersburg-based biotech firm Novavax is 89 percent effective in a United Kingdom trial, Novavax announced on Thursday. However, while the vaccine shows promising results against variants in the UK, it proved less successful in protecting from the South African strain.

Last July, the federal government gave the company $1.6 billion to aid the development process. A month later, Novavax president of research and development Gregory Glenn told Washingtonian that he was “super-optimistic” about the company’s progress.

What’s it like to be at the center of an effort to save so many lives? Glenn talked about getting encouraging results from one of the vaccine’s early trials:

That’s huge. Because, you know, it’s so hard to achieve this. Just before we got the Phase 1 result, I found myself barely able to make a cup of coffee for a couple days. The anticipation is hard to describe. You know, lives count on this, the company counts on this. My family counts on this. Our government counts on this. Other governments are counting on it. It’s a big moment.

As a result of the recent positive news, Novavax stocks have soared, leaping 49 percent. If approved, Novavax’s vaccine will join Moderna, Pfizer, and most likely Johnson & Johnson in the coronavirus vaccine marketplace.

Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.