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Could Novavax Have a Clinical Trial Mutiny on Its Hands?

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD - Updated Jun 25, 2021 at 2:56PM

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The short answer: Not likely.

No proof of vaccination, no travel. That's the reality for people in the United Kingdom. But for individuals in Novavax's (NVAX 2.80%) U.K. late-stage study of its COVID-19 vaccine, this reality has become a problem. Some study participants have even reportedly threatened to drop out of the clinical trial. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on May 26, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss whether or not Novavax could have a clinical trial mutiny on its hands.

Keith Speights: The Guardian, which is a U.K. news publication, recently reported, Brian, that some participants in Novavax's phase 3 clinical trial that is being conducted in the United Kingdom, that some participants are threatening to drop out of the study. The problem apparently is that they can't prove that they're fully vaccinated in the National Health Services app that's required for traveling to other European countries. How big of an issue do you think this might be for Novavax?

Brian Orelli: I don't really see it as a big issue at all. First of all, the company is working with the government to get them listed in the app. Then second, at this point, everybody in the state has already been vaccinated so it was one of those crossover things. There was either a placebo group or vaccine group, and then after they released the efficacy data, then they switched everybody, and people with a placebo got vaccine and people with a vaccine got placebo.

Everybody has been vaccinated at this point. All they're looking at is safety, they can't look at efficacy anymore because everybody has the vaccine. If a few people drop out, I don't see that big of a deal. Even if a lot of people drop out, they're just trying to gather more safety data, I don't think it's the end of the world.

Speights: I wondered if this was much ado about nothing, but sometimes the controversy sells and to have some participants threaten to drop out certainly was newsworthy, I guess.

Orelli: I think it's newsworthy for the news, I don't think it's newsworthy for investors.

Speights: Right. Good point.

Brian Orelli, PhD owns shares of Novavax. Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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