Biotech company Novavax — which announced the launch of a phase 3 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in the US on Monday — confirmed it is also testing its vaccine against the UK strain of coronavirus that appears to transmit more easily.
"We are actively testing sera against the new UK strain,” the company said in a statement Monday, adding that “results will take several weeks.”
This will involve taking blood from trial participants who received the vaccine and checking to see if their antibodies neutralize the UK strain in the lab.
Novavax joins other pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Moderna, which are also testing their vaccines against this strain — which has become widespread in the UK and has appeared in many other countries. The variant appears to be more transmissible, but there’s no indication it causes more severe disease.
The statement noted there have been other coronavirus variants, and the company believes its vaccine will create an "immune response that covers these sequence variants and will be protective.”