Trials supported by Keele show Novavax vaccine to be highly effective against Covid-19

Trials of a new Covid-19 vaccine which have been supported by Keele University have shown a high level of efficacy, particularly against the UK variant of the virus.

Keele’s Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) has been supporting the National Institute for Health Research’s regional site where a study has been taking place to test the effectiveness of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Data published today (Friday 29th January) has shown the vaccine to be 89% effective at preventing Covid-19 in a clinical trial setting, and is the first to show in trials that it is effective against the new virus variant found in the UK.

The trial, which is being delivered at sites across the United Kingdom, is being hosted locally by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) and supported by Keele CTU in Staffordshire. The trial, to test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a wide range of people including those from a variety of age groups and backgrounds, has now completed recruitment. With over 500 participants locally recruited, the study is now in its follow-up stages.

The vaccination trial is being led by the Trust’s highly skilled and experienced Research and Innovation Department who specialise in research and clinical trials, along with the support of Keele University’s Clinical Trials Unit with expertise in the development and delivery of high-quality multicentre clinical trials, testing treatments and health services.

Sarah Lawton, Head of Operations at the Keele Clinical Trials Unit, said: “I am delighted that Keele CTU is supporting this really important work. Clinical research is extremely important in the fight against Covid-19 and we are pleased to be contributing to the delivery of the Novavax clinical trial in the West Midlands.”

MPFT and Keele’s involvement in the trial was announced towards the end of 2020. At the time, Neil Carr, Chief Executive of MPFT, said: “We have all been fighting the coronavirus and we have all had to make significant changes to our lives. But in that fight we know that one of the key milestones is going to be a vaccine which is effective.”