Moderna Inc. announced on Wednesday that its revised COVID vaccine, a proposed booster dose that is designed to target both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the Omicron variant, is more effective against Omicron than its original vaccine.
Trial results, the company said, show that the booster causes neutralizing antibodies to increase eight-fold, based on monitoring trial participants for a month following the injection. Side-effects were found to be "comparable to" those following its already-existing booster dose of 50 mcg.
"We are submitting our preliminary data and analysis to regulators with the hope that the Omicron-containing bivalent booster will be available in the late summer," Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in a statement.
Moderna first announced its intention to develop a bivalent vaccine (targeting two strains of the virus) over a year ago, in February of 2021.
"We are thrilled to share the preliminary data analysis on mRNA-1273.214, which is the second demonstration of superiority of our bivalent booster platform against variants of concern and represents an innovation in the fight against COVID," Bancel said. "Looking at these data alongside the durability we saw with our first bivalent booster candidate, mRNA-1273.211, we anticipate more durable protection against variants of concern with mRNA-1273.214, making it our lead candidate for a Fall 2022 booster.
"We are submitting our preliminary data and analysis to regulators with the hope that the Omicron-containing bivalent booster will be available in the late summer. Taken together, our bivalent booster candidates demonstrate the power of Moderna's mRNA platform to develop vaccines that meet immediate, global public health threats," he said.
Moderna plans to report data from Day 91 after vaccination later this summer and will submit the interim analysis and data to regulators for review in the coming weeks.