Sanofi (Nasdaq:SNY) and GSK (NYSE:GSK) have announced that their next-generation COVID-19 booster vaccine candidate based on the beta variant yielded a substantial immune boost in adults previously primed with mRNA vaccines.
The novel vaccine yielded a strong increase in antibody titers above baseline against various variants of concern, including a 40-fold increase against the BA.1 omicron subvariant 15 days after vaccination. The same vaccine also yielded a 15-fold increase against the original D614 virus and a 30-fold increase against the beta strain.
The results were from two studies, the VAT02 Cohort 2 and COVIBOOST VAT013.
The new vaccine candidate elicited a more robust immune response than the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine or the first-generation Sanofi-GSK vaccine candidate.
Last week, Moderna (Nasdaq:MRNA) also announced that its bivalent omicron booster vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.214 yielded 1.75 times more neutralizing antibodies than its original mRNA-1273 vaccine.
The Sanofi vaccine, which uses a GSK adjuvant, also appeared to offer protection against the BA.2 omicron subvariant while offering good safety and tolerability.
The vaccine yielded twice as many neutralizing antibodies against omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants compared to the original D614-based booster.
In the clinical research, 76.1% of recipients of the Sanofi-GSK vaccine had at least a 10-fold increase in neutralizing antibody titers against the D614 SARS-CoV-2 strain within 15 days of inoculation. By contrast, 63.2% of recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine met the same benchmark.
Data from the COVIBOOST trial are published on a pre-print server. The companies plan to have the data published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“COVID-19 keeps evolving, and the combination of emergence of variants and waning immunity is likely to lead to the need for additional booster shots, at least in some populations,” said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president of Sanofi Vaccines, in a statement. “The Beta variant expresses similar mutations across multiple variants of concern, including omicron, making it a strong vaccine candidate to confer broad protection against multiple strains of COVID-19. Seeing the cross-neutralization data from the independent AP-HP study, we believe this next-generation booster could have an important role to play for public health vaccination campaigns. We look forward to submitting these data to global regulatory authorities.”
SNY shares were down 1.66% to $50.06 in afternoon trading, while GSK shares fell 2.49% to $42.71. The overall NASDAQ index was down about 4%.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease