LONDON – Initial results from the U.K. randomized trial assessing mixed COVID-19 vaccine schedules show there is a significant increase in systemic side effects with one dose of Astrazeneca plc’s and one of Pfizer Inc./Biontech SE’s vaccines (in either order), compared to receiving two doses of the same vaccine.
Amid what Moderna Inc. called "overwhelming" demand from global governments for mRNA vaccines and boosters with efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the company said both its authorized vaccine, mRNA-1273, and a strain-matched candidate, mRNA-1273.351, increased neutralizing titers against the variants.
LONDON – The EMA’s safety committee has concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets are a rare side effect of Johnson & Johnson Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine and that a warning should be added to the label. The decision is based on all available evidence, which currently consists of eight reports from the U.S. of serious cases of thrombosis, one of which was fatal. All cases were in people under 60 years of age, and within three weeks after vaccination, the majority in women. One case occurred during the clinical trials.
As COVID-19 deaths across the globe top 3 million, with more than 1 million in Europe alone, the global demand is increasing for mRNA vaccines, even as sponsors of adenovirus vaccines push back against ongoing safety concerns. Last week, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Europe reported that the confirmed COVID-19 death toll for the region had surpassed 1 million, with 1.6 million new cases being reported every week. More than 171 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the region, translating to nearly 13% of the European population receiving one dose and close to 6% completing both doses of the vaccines.
LONDON – The U.K. is moving on to the next phase of testing mixed dosing schedules for COVID-19 vaccines, launching a study in which it will assess the effect of using Moderna Inc. or Novavax Inc.’s products as the second dose in a heterologous prime boost trial.
The latest global regulatory news, changes and updates affecting medical devices and technologies, including: COVID-19 inventions included in USPTO awards program; First thrombosis incident reported in Australia; FDA revises Moderna EUA; GAO refuses to reconsider VA challenge.
The latest salvo in the debate over patents protecting COVID-19-related drugs, devices and vaccines came this week from U.S. industry organizations, including Advamed, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
The continuing politicization of COVID-19 vaccines is undermining medical science and the international response to the pandemic. “Vaccine nationalism is very troubling,” Jeremy Levin, chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) executive committee, told BioWorld.
As the World Trade Organization (WTO) debate intensified this week over a demand to waive patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, the group’s new director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, urged members to “walk and chew gum” at the same time by working with “companies to open up and license more viable manufacturing sites now in emerging markets and developing countries. We must get them to work with us on know-how and technology transfer now.”