A new Covid vaccine effective against Omicron could be launched this year

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Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline hope to launch their latest Covid vaccine later this year after studies showed it was particularly effective against the Omicron variant, which is promising news for the pharma giants pushing for lost To catch up ground and capture a slice of the maturing coronavirus vaccine market.

Important facts

The bivalent vaccine – a type of vaccination with two targets, in this case the original coronavirus strain and the beta variant – was safe, well tolerated and showed 65% efficacy against symptomatic infections in adults when given as the first and second vaccinations was used, Sanofi said.

In adults who were already infected with Covid, the shot was 75% effective against symptomatic infections, Sanofi said, citing its study of more than 13,000 people.

The vaccine was particularly effective at protecting against Omicron infection, Sanofi said, 72% when used as the primary vaccine and 93% when used in people who already had Covid.

The findings, particularly the strong protection in those already infected with Covid, add to the findings from the companies’ studies testing the vaccine released earlier this month as a booster shot.

Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President at Sanofi, said the results underscore the value of the company’s beta-based booster in a world where most people have been infected with Covid at some point, adding that companies are looking forward to their Complete regulatory filings Get your shot approved.

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said he hopes the vaccine will be available “later this year” and believes the vaccine has “the potential to make an important contribution to public health” while the Pandemic developed further.

key background

The early race to develop Covid-19 vaccines was dominated by new technologies and, with the exception of Pfizer, which has partnered with German company BioNTech, none of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers were represented. More traditional vaccine technologies and pharmaceutical heavyweights like Sanofi and GSK may have stumbled in early efforts to develop a vaccine, but they’re only just gaining ground. Sanofi’s Triomphe said that while mRNA — the technology behind shots from Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna — has demonstrated “quick time to market,” their trials are now showing the effectiveness of protein-based shots. There still remains a sizeable chunk of the vaccine market for laggards, particularly as countries strategize for booster campaigns and move away from vaccinations based on the original coronavirus strain. In particular, most of the major Covid vaccine manufacturers – including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax – have been working on syringes specific to the Omicron variant to address the waning efficacy against the variant.

Further reading

Sanofi, GSK Covid Booster elicits ‘strong immune response’ against multiple variants – including Omicron (Forbes)

Why the three largest vaccine manufacturers failed due to Covid-19 (Financial Times)

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