The company published the results from the bivalent booster tests against the BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 subvariants on the preprint server BioRxiv.
One month after administering a fourth vaccine dose, the geometric means of neutralization titers from the bivalent BA.4/5 vaccine was generally superior to that of the monovalent BNT162b2 booster. Overall, the Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a 3.2- to 4.8-fold increase in neutralizing antibody titers relative to the original monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. For the BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 omicron variants, antibody titers were up between 4.8- to 11.1-fold from pre-booster levels.
“These data suggest the bivalent BA.4/5 vaccine is more immunogenic than the original BNT162b2 monovalent vaccine against circulating Omicron sublineages, including BQ.1.1 that is becoming prevalent globally,” the study authors concluded.
CDC recently noted that BQ.1/BQ.1.1 subvariants were currently responsible for almost half of current U.S. COVID-19 infections.
Separately, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that it was developing the BNT162b4 vaccine candidate that encodes for SARS-CoV-2 non-spike proteins that could offer a superior immune response over its spike-protein-based vaccines.
In October, a preprint from researchers at Columbia indicated that the retooled bivalent boosters might not have significantly superior performance relative to the first-generation mRNA vaccines. Roughly three to five weeks after administration of the fourth vaccine dose with a bivalent mRNA vaccine, individuals had similar neutralizing antibody titers compared with those who had a fourth dose of monovalent vaccine against a range of variants, including BA.4/BA.5.
A Harvard preprint study reached similar conclusions.
In mid-day trading, Pfizer shares were mostly flat, holding steady at $48.29. BioNTech shares were up 0.34% to $166.82.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease, Uncategorized