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Moderna Shares Promising Preliminary Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Results

by Fujie Tham
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Another vaccine developed to counter COVID variants, Moderna’s first bivalent booster candidate, mRNA-1273.211 showed promising results against all variants of concern. A 50µg booster dose of mRNA-1273.211 demonstrated superiority against Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants 1 month after administration. Superiority is maintained 6 months after administration for Beta and Omicron variants. If authorized, mRNA-1273.211 would be Moderna’s refreshed response to emerging variants.

 

Related Article: Good or Bad? The 4th Dose of mRNA COVID Vaccine

 

Higher Antibody Responses than the Present Booster Shot

 

A booster dose of mRNA-1273.211 demonstrated superiority against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and the Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants 1 month after the booster dose and superiority against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2, Beta, and Omicron 6 months compared to the current booster dose (mRNA-1273). There were 2.20 times and 2.15 times increase in neutralizing antibody titers against Omicron with the mRNA-1273.211 booster dose compared to the mRNA-1273 booster dose at 1 month and 6 months respectively.

The 50µg bivalent booster vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.211 induced higher antibody responses than the present mRNA-1273 booster even when the variants were not included in the booster vaccine while maintaining similar tolerability and safety profile.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said the results validated Moderna’s bivalent strategy they announced in February 2021 and shared that new data from their Omicron-specific booster mRNA-1273.214 will be available later in Q2.

 

Bivalent Strategy Against COVID-19

 

To address the ever-evolving SARS-CoV-2 virus, vaccine makers are developing multiple monovalent and bivalent candidates to target variants effectively. By combining targeted variants, bivalent boosters maintain high neutralizing titers while improving overall immunity to variants. Moderna has multiple bivalent booster candidates that have been evaluated to date, which include mRNA-1273.211 (9 spike protein mutations, based on the Beta variant) and mRNA-1273.214 (32 spike protein mutations, based on the Omicron variant).​ 

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