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HomeNewsCOVID-19 update | Sanofi, GSK variant-specific shot effective against Omicron

COVID-19 update | Sanofi, GSK variant-specific shot effective against Omicron

Pharma firms Sanofi and GSK on 24 June said that their late -stage data on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed the shot confers protection against the Omicron variant of the virus.

The bivalent vaccine targets the Beta variant — first identified in South Africa – as well as the original Wuhan strain of the virus, said the firms.

The COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated an efficacy rate of 64.7 per cent against symptomatic COVID-19 when the trial was conducted on 13,000 adults. Also, it showed 72 per cent efficacy against infections specifically caused by the Omicron variant.

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The results were stronger when the vaccines were used in people who previously had COVID. The firms said that the vaccine generated an efficacy rate of 75.1 per cent against symptomatic COVID and 93.2 per cent in Omicron-confirmed symptomatic cases.

“Sanofi-GSK’s vaccine is the first candidate to demonstrate efficacy in a placebo-controlled trial in an environment of high Omicron variant circulation,” Sanofi said in a statement.

Earlier in June, the bivalent vaccine showed potential in two trials to protect against the virus’ main variants of concern — the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains — when used as a booster shot, reported Reuters.

Both Sanofi and GSK — world’s leading vaccine makers — are hoping to gain a foothold in the market for next-generation variant-focused COVID shots, after falling behind competitors including Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech.

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The new data supporting the bivalent vaccine will be submitted to regulatory authorities soon, the firms said, adding they hope to make the shot available later in 2022. Sanofi and GSK’s original COVID vaccine is already under review by the European Medicines Agency.

With inputs from Reuters.

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