Montgomery County biotech company working on COVID-19 vaccine

A biotech company in Montgomery County says it's ready to start taking its coronavirus vaccine program to a new phase earlier than they expected, as the company is still working on securing more funding and support for the program. 

The Gaithersburg biotech company has a vaccine candidate that they will begin human clinical trials with next month. Novavax Inc. says they expect those human trials in May could have data results ready by July.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Everything You Need to Know

Dr. Gregory Glenn, Novavax Inc.’s president of research and development tells FOX 5: “I believe we’ve got a very good vaccine, I think among the vaccines being developed we have to be considered one of the best ones."

He's added that the preliminary stage of development went well, and that "we’re very encouraged by that, and now we have to go with humans and show that it’s safe normally vaccines can take many years to develop."

Even though Novavax Inc. is a local company, which develops vaccines for all sorts of viruses like the flu, it’s now a major player on the international effort to find an effective coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine they have decided to advance is called “NVX-COV-2373” and uses nano-particle, and expect to have primary data from their human trials this summer.

Dr. Glenn tells FOX 5 once this current wave peaks, experts expect a second wave could follow which is why they hope to have this vaccine ready when it does.

“We have to be pessimists. It is going to come back and there is discussion of a second wave. Not a lot of people have been infected - relative to the population, so we have that time target in our sights," he said.


Dr. Glenn says that challenge is clear: "Can we get a vaccine and can we get it deployed for that second wave."

The University of Maryland School of Medicine is involved in this project and says there is strong evidence that the vaccine created by Novavax Inc. will be highly successful in humans leading to protection from COVID-19.

Once those trials get underway next month, the vaccine will possibly be available later this year.