Mere days after rivals Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX) announced the launch of a study testing an omicron-based booster vaccine candidate, Moderna (NSDQ:MRNA) has announced its own trial of an omicron-specific vaccine.
The vaccine booster candidate, mRNA-1273.529, will be the subject of a Phase 2 study involving approximately 600 participants divided into two cohorts.
The first cohort in the trial will receive a dose of the mRNA-1273.529 after receiving a primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273. The second cohort will receive a dose of mRNA-1273.529 after receiving a two-dose primary series and a 50-µg booster dose of the same vaccine.
The first cohort will receive a dose of mRNA-1273.529 at least six months after completion of a primary series. The second cohort will receive the mRNA-1273.529 vaccine candidate three months after receipt of a third dose.
The company is also considering including the omicron-specific vaccine candidate in its multivalent booster program.
The company had previously announced that a third dose of the mRNA-1273 appeared to result in a considerable increase in protection against the omicron variant. A 50-µg booster of the vaccine led to an approximately 37-fold increase in neutralizing antibody levels against omicron. A 100-µg booster led to a roughly 83-fold increase.
Moderna recently published neutralizing antibody data for the omicron variant in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Moderna also has a variety of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in its pipeline, including versions for the beta and delta variants as well as two multivalent candidates. In addition, the company is developing a next-generation refrigerator-stable COVID-19 vaccine known as mRNA-1283.
Moderna is also currently conducting a trial involving its mRNA-1273 vaccine in children aged 2 to 5 years. It expects to share data from that trial in March.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease