29 July 2021,   17:25
Novavax says variant-adapted vaccine effective against several COVID-19 strains

Novavax says that its COVID-19 vaccine targeted at the Beta variant is effective at protecting against several strains of the disease, adding to hopes that existing adaptations of the virus can be managed with booster shots, writes Financial Times.

The biotech said its variant-adapted vaccine produced antibodies and elicited immune responses at varying levels of strength in three early-stage studies.

Novavax tested the jab on mice and found that they produced antibodies and were protected against both the Alpha and Beta variants - those first detected in the UK and South Africa, respectively.

Its tests of a booster shot on baboons that had been immunised 12 months ago proved high and durable antibody levels against both strains while the third test on humans delivered a “modest reduction” in neutralising capacity against the Beta strain.

“These data suggest that not only could one booster dose of this variant-directed vaccine potentially provide a robust, protective immune boost after vaccination against the [original] virus, but also the potential to provide broad protection against various virus strains if used as a primary vaccine regimen”, - said Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax.