[Water Consumption]

John Moore, an immunologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, had been skeptical of Novavax’s moth cell system because in the 1990s it had conspicuously failed to produce an HIV spike protein with the right characteristics to make an AIDS vaccine. But in August, when Ward’s work was posted as a preprint, “I looked at that paper and was impressed,” Moore says. “It changed my perception of the quality of the protein. The concerns I had were eliminated by data, which is as it should be.” I’m going, ‘Yes, I’ll have that [vaccine].’ By late May, Novavax had launched its first human safety trial in 131 volunteers in Australia and used the CEPI funding to buy, for $167 million in cash, a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic that the company said would deliver more than 1 billion doses in 2021. And in early July, Operation Warp Speed granted the company up to $1.6 billion, with $800 million available immediately, for a phase III clinical trial and for manufacturing 100 million doses of vaccine. In early August, the big investors in the tiny company won an initial vindication when Novavax announced strong results from the Australian trial. After two injections, “the this article antibody responses in the Novavax paper were markedly stronger than any of the other vaccines that have been reported,” and participants had experienced no severe adverse events, says Moore, who recently published a  Journal of Virology review of the leading vaccine candidates. Moore says he intends to volunteer for a Novavax trial if eligible. “I’m going, ‘Yes, I’ll have that [vaccine].’” The government of the United Kingdom soon signed up to buy 60 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine, and the big drugmaker Takeda licensed it to manufacture at scale with funding from the Japanese government.