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Drug companies’ shot has ‘strong potential’ to be universal ‘booster vaccine’

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

A vaccine developed by Sanofi and GSK has demonstrated a strong immune response in adults in its Phase 2 trial, and could become a universal COVID-19 vaccine booster.

The vaccine triggered an antibody response in 95% to 100% of every trial participant, the companies said in a press release Monday. It generated a “high immune response after a single dose in patients” who had recovered from COVID-19, they added, meaning that it could be deployed as an effective booster shot in the future.

“Our Phase 2 data confirm the potential of this vaccine to play a role in addressing this ongoing global public health crisis, as we know multiple vaccines will be needed, especially as variants continue to emerge and the need for effective and booster vaccines, which can be stored at normal temperatures, increases,” Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in the release.

Though the trial consisted of just 722 volunteers in the U.S. and Honduras, the shot’s response among them was encouraging, the companies said. They are set to undergo the vaccine’s Phase 3 trial in the coming weeks, which will consist of approximately 35,000 participants from multiple countries.

They will also conduct parallel booster studies among different coronavirus variants to determine whether a lower dose of a follow-up shot can still catalyze a strong immune response regardless of the original vaccine received.

If the Phase 3 trial is successful, the companies said, then the vaccine could be approved in late 2021.

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