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EU regulator approves Sanofi, GSK’s COVID shot for Beta variant as booster By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sanofi logo at the company’s headquarters during the annual results news conference in Paris, France, February 4, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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(Reuters) – France’s Sanofi (NASDAQ:) and its British partner GSK on Thursday won a recommendation from the European Union’s health regulator for their COVID-19 vaccine booster, the watchdog said in a statement.

The shot with the brand name VidPrevtyn Beta can be given to people who have already had a primary course of vaccination from other approved shots. It is based on lab-made viral proteins provided by Sanofi and an adjuvant ingredient from GSK that increases the immune response.

It contains surface proteins of the Beta coronavirus variant, which was first identified in South Africa in mid-2020 and supplanted during 2021 by Delta, and later by Omicron.

The European Medicines Agency said in its statement it concluded from studies that a booster dose of VidPrevtyn Beta should be at least as effective as Comirnaty from Pfizer (NYSE:) and BioNTech at restoring protection against COVID-19.

Work on the shot by Sanofi and GSK, two of the world’s largest vaccine makers by sales, was delayed repeatedly.

The first generation of their joint candidate did not produce the desired protection in the elderly in 2020. The partners later pivoted to targeting the Beta variant, requiring months in additional development time.

The dominant vaccine makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna (NASDAQ:) this year cemented their lead in European and U.S. markets by launching booster shots specifically addressing the Omicron variant.

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