American biotech Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine produced neutralizing activity against variants of the coronavirus, including delta, in a laboratory study not yet peer-reviewed.
According to a statement, the vaccine produced antibody titers against all variants tested “in vitro”, including beta, identified in South Africa; the delta, identified in India, and others identified in Nigeria, Uganda and Angola.
Moderna, which is working on a clinical development strategy to protect against variants, used serum samples from eight participants obtained one week after the second dose in the first phase of the clinical trial of its anticovid vaccine.
The study is a pre-printed document that has been submitted for peer review in the journal BioRxiv, so it is not yet certified.
“As we seek to defeat the pandemic, it is imperative that we be proactive with the evolution of the virus. We remain committed to studying emerging variants, generating data and sharing it as soon as it becomes available,” explained Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.
Bancel said that the data presented is encouraging and suggests that the anticovid vaccine that the company has developed “should continue to protect against recently detected variants.”
“These findings underscore the importance of continuing to vaccinate populations with an effective primary series of vaccines,” he added.
India announced on Tuesday that it has authorized the emergency use of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, making it the fourth approved serum in the country, where fewer than 40,000 new cases have been registered in recent hours for the first time in more than three months.
“The request received from Moderna through a subsidiary called Cipla has been approved for restricted use, commonly known as emergency use,” government adviser Vinod K Paul told a news conference.
Moderna’s vaccine is the fourth to be authorized in the Asian country, together with Covishield from AstraZeneca, which is produced thanks to an agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII), the indigenous Covaxin, from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech, and the Russian formula Sputnik V.