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UPDATE 1-Novavax ends Q3 with $334.2 mln cash ahead of U.S. trial of COVID-19 vaccine

(Updates with background)

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Novavax Inc said on Monday it ended the third quarter with $334.2 million in cash and cash equivalents, as it prepares to start a delayed U.S.-based late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate later this month.

The vaccine developer expects that data from the trial could support U.S. authorization and approval for its experimental coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.

Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc, which is among a handful of companies testing their experimental coronavirus shots in late-stage studies, has said its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective, citing early data.

Maryland-based Novavax, which is testing the drug in a late-stage study in the UK, last month postponed the start of the U.S. trial by roughly a month, due to delays in scaling up the manufacturing process.

The company aims to include at least 15% Black or African Americans, 10% to 20% Latinos and 1% to 2% Native Americans in its large-scale COVID-19 vaccine study in the United States and Mexico.

NVX-CoV2373 uses a technology known as recombinant nanoparticle to produce antigens - molecules that are designed to spur the immune system into action.

Novavax has signed separate deals to supply its shot to the United States, the UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and India.

Earlier in the day, the vaccine developer said it won the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “fast-track” status for its experimental coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373. (Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)