Where is Novavax based? The American vaccine development company recently announced late-stage covid-19 vaccine trials. Where is Novavax HQ, and where will the trials take place?

Where is Novavax based?

Novavax, Inc. is an American company in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It also has additional facilities in Rockville, Maryland and across the pond in Uppsala, Sweden. 

Novavax’s HQ is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on the northern side of Washington, D.C.

Its Swedish connection is a result of a merger with a Swedish company, Isconova AB.

Founded in 1987, the company is 33 years old in 2020. It has nearly 400 employees and, since it serves the global vaccines market, it has had a bumper year.

According to Science Mag, Novavax hired more than 300 new employees to deal with the surge in demand for a covid-19 vaccine.

Five years ago, the company received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to the tune of $89 million. The purpose of the grant was to support the development of a vaccine against a human respiratory virus.

In May this year, Novavax received a further $388 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to fund early-stage evaluation of the company’s covid-19 vaccine candidate.

How to sign up for Phase 3 trial of Novavax covid-19 vaccine candidate

Novavax is running late-stage trials of their covid-19 vaccine candidate at 115 sites in the United States and Mexico.

But the first participants in the phase 3 clinical trial already enrolled in the UK on 23 September. Others enrolled on 28 September in Blackpool. 

However, the Novavax website still hosts a callout for trial participants. The website states that the company requires an estimated 30,000 participants. 

The trials will be randomised and placebo-controlled.

What does a ‘placebo-controlled trial’ mean?

Placebos deliberately do not have any therapeutic value – they are inert. In other words, in placebo-controlled trials, some individuals receive a non-drug. 

The purpose is to account for the so-called “placebo effect”. For example, sometimes when someone receives a treatment, that person’s expectation is to recover, which can help them recover.

The placebo effect is the subject of much scientific research. In the words of the Harvard Health Publishing website, “placebos work on symptoms modulated by the brain, like the perception of pain”.

Further, placebos tap into environmental and ritual factors – the fact of having a nurse present, or a medical professional in a white coat.

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