An NIH authored preprint concluded that an omicron-specific version of Moderna’s (NSDQ:MRNA) vaccine might not offer improved immunity or protection compared to the company’s current mRNA-1273 vaccine.
In a small study involving macaques, NIH researchers tested neutralizing antibody levels and B cell expansion in primates receiving mRNA-1273 and mRNA-1273.529, the updated vaccine.
The study involved a total of eight macaques who received two initial 100-μg doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine. Nine months after the second dose, four primates received a dose of the existing vaccine, while the remaining four received the omicron-based version.
The study authors performed a challenge test, exposing the non-human primates to the omicron variant to gauge their immune response. The researchers ultimately concluded that both groups receiving boosters fared similarly.
The authors note that the non-human primate (NHP) model has been “largely predictive for what has been observed in humans in terms of protective efficacy” of COVID-19 vaccines.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and its partner BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX) are also working on an omicron-specific booster.
MRNA shares ticked down about 1% to $161.36 in late-morning trading.
The NIH study concluded that boosters in general “limit the extent of infection from Omicron.”
Filed Under: Infectious Disease