Covid-19 roundup: FDA updates Moderna vaccine dose per vial counts; Vir's antibody shows promise against variants
The FDA has revised the number of doses available for each vial of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to 11 and announced the availability of a new vial that can hold a maximum of 15 doses.
The revisions will help increase the supply of vaccines available, according to a release. President Joe Biden has promised enough shots to vaccinate all American adults by late May.
Ultimately, more vaccines getting to the public in a timely manner should help bring an end to the pandemic more rapidly, Peter Marks said in a statement.
Since the Moderna vaccine doesn’t contain any preservative, any leftover dose that doesn’t equal a full dose shouldn’t be combined with other partial doses to create a full dose, the company said. The possibility of contamination could spread to other vials.
Last week, Moderna announced it shipped the 100 millionth dose of its Covid-19 vaccine in the US on Monday, and 67 million doses have been administered stateside so far. Shipments increased fivefold since December.
Scientists optimistic after VIR mAb shows resilience against California variants
Data from Vir’s preclinical study of VIR-7831 antibody have shown evidence of neutralization against the California Covid-19 variants, the company announced Monday.
In a study from researchers at Vir and the University of Washington, more than 50 plasma donors — 43 of which were vaccinated and nine who were convalescent — showed that the S13I, W152C and L452R mutations were reduced by 3-to-6 fold, the company said.
Vir and its partner GlaxoSmithKline filed with the FDA for emergency use authorization on March 26. That submission is based on efficacy and safety data from a Phase III trial of 583 patients, who demonstrated an 85% reduction in hospitalization or death when receiving VIR-7831 compared with placebo.
Previously submitted data also showed that the mAb protects against variants that originated in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
The data was published on April 1 and has been submitted for peer review.
“Together, these data demonstrate that if we are to combat current and anticipated future variants, there is a critical need for monoclonal antibodies that target invariant regions of the spike protein with the potential for a high barrier to resistance,” UW associate professor David Veesler said in a statement.
Last week, Eli Lilly announced a combination of bamlanivimab and VIR-7831 successfully reduced viral loads of Covid-19 in a Phase II study, with low-risk patients seeing a 70% greater reduction than the placebo patients. It is unsure whether that success came from the combination of the two antibodies or just one in particular.
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