Moderna lancia la sperimentazione di un nuovo vaccino mirato al ceppo sudafricano

Moderna to launch trials of new booster vaccine that targets South African Covid variant ‘within weeks

  • Boston-based biotech has sent materials to Government scientists to start trial
  • Booster jab given as top-up to people given Moderna’s original Covid vaccine
  • Sources say new vaccine could be in people’s arms by end of year at the latest
  • Moderna has become the first vaccine maker to develop a jab that targets the South African coronavirus variante.

    The Boston-based biotech has already shipped the raw materials to the US National Institutes of Health, which helped the firm study its first jab, to start human trials.

    Dott Anthony Fauci, [object Window]’ top Covid expert, and his team at the NIH will begin testing the vaccine in a small group of volunteers within weeks.

    The booster dose will be given as a top-up to people who have already received Moderna’s original jab, which Britain has approved and ordered 17million doses of.

    A Moderna source told MailOnline today the new vaccine would be in people’s arms by this winter at the latest, if trials are successful.

    Lab studies have shown the firm’s original vaccine was less effective against the South African strain, known scientifically as 501.V2. While it still worked, it only induced one-sixth of the antibodies that it did against the original strain.

    The finding raised concerns that people’s immunity could fade over time or that newer, further evolved strains could hide from the vaccine completely.

    The new booster jab targets the E484K mutation found on the South African variant’s spike protein. The alteration is also present on a troubling strain in Brazil and has been cropping up on various variants in Britain.

    Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, said the firm had become the first to develop the targeted vaccine because it had the ‘muscleto respond to variants. Moderna is using brand-new mRNA technology which can be engineered more easily than traditional vaccines.

    Moderna has become the first vaccine maker to develop a jab that targets the South African coronavirus variant (file)

    Moderna has become the first vaccine maker to develop a jab that targets the South African coronavirus variant (file)

    Worrying mutations in the UK and around the world: The South African and Brazillian (P.1) variants make vaccines less potent, while four different strains have spawned in Britain

    Worrying mutations in the UK and around the world: The South African and Brazillian (P.1) variants make vaccines less potent, while four different strains have spawned in Britain

    The announcement came after the medical regulator in the US urged vaccine makers to launch trials of vaccines that target new variants.

    The Food and Drug Administration has said it will only need to see proof of the booster vaccines on hundreds of people, rather than tens of thousands like the original Covid jabs, to give them the green light.

    And it added the studies would only need to last two or three months which is less than half the time of the original trials.

    Pfizer vaccine just as effective in real world as it was in trials, landmark analysis finds

    Pfizer’s highly effective coronavirus vaccine is just as good in the real world as it was in carefully controlled studies, a landmark study has found.

    Results from Israel’s mass vaccination campaign found the shot cut symptomatic COVID cases by 94 per cent across all age groups after two doses.

    Among the handful of people who still caught the virus, the vaccine stopped 92 per cent from falling severely ill.

    It was also shown to be 63 per cent effective at blocking severe disease after the first injection, which is still well above the World Health Organization’s 50 per cent threshold.

    That finding will be a huge boost to UK officials, who have gambled on delaying the second dose by 12 weeks to get wider coverage quicker.

    The vaccine, developed by German firm BioNTech, was just as effective in those over 70 as it was in younger people.

    More than half a million people were involved in the peer-reviewed study, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    The findings are significant because they show the jab is just as effective in the real world as it was in meticulous clinical trials, where it stopped 95 per cent of people from getting symptomatic illness.

    Often medicines are less efficacious when used in the real world because there are more variables and people given the products tend to be older and frailer.

    The study also suggested the vaccine is effective against the variant first discovered in Kentthough it did not give a specific level of efficacy.

    però, because the Kent variant was the dominant strain in Israel at the time of the research, the findings will be encouraging.

    The study did not look at other variants, including the South African one.

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    The South African variant caused international alarm when it triggered an explosion of cases in the country last autumn.

    There are two key mutations on the variant that appear to give it an advantage over older versions of the virus – these are called N501Y and E484K.

    Both are on the spike protein of the virus, which is a part of its outer shell that it uses to stick to cells inside the body, and which the immune system uses as a target.

    Sembrano che il virus si diffonda più velocemente e possono dargli la capacità di scivolare oltre le cellule immunitarie che sono state prodotte in risposta a una precedente infezione oa un vaccino.

    Public Health England has detected the mutant virus 217 times in the UK since late December.

    So far all of Britain’s approved vaccines seem to work against the variant, according to early lab studies, but to what degree is still a mystery.

    Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines appeared to be able to neutralise the strain, but were far less potent, raising fears immunity could wane over time.

    A small study of Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s jab on young people found it offered them minimal protection against mild coronavirus, although this is not the point of the vaccine, which is intended to prevent severe illness and death.

    Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, which is waiting approval, was shown to block 57 per cent of coronavirus infections in South Africa, which meets the World Health Organization’s 50 per cent efficacy threshold.

    British scientists say there is no reason the South African strain will become dominant in the UK because it is not more infectious than the Kent one, therefore it does not have an ‘evolutionary edge’.

    però, there are concerns that once the population has been vaccinated the South African strain could become more prevalent because of its antibody-resistant properties.

    Nel frattempo, Moderna also announced today it is experimenting with two other methods combat new Covid variants through vaccination.

    It is also developing a vaccine that mixes its original vaccine with the new South African one which could be delivered as a single injection to protect against both variants.

    And it’s looking into whether giving people who received both doses of its original vaccine another half-dose of that jab could give additional protection against new strains.

    Mr Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive said he was concerned about new variants, warning that a lack of genomic sequencing in most countries meant mutant viruses could be rapidly spreading around the world right under scientistsnoses.

    Moderna also announced it is investing to expand production for 2022 to a total of 1.4billion doses, up from a previous projection of 1.2bn.

    Its vaccine is currently authorised for use in the US, UK and EU, but most of the doses have been deployed in America while the firm tries to scale up its European supply chain.

    Di 60 million Moderna doses have been shipped so far, di cui 55 million have gone to the US and the rest to Europe. Britain is expected to start getting supplies within weeks.

    WHY ARE SCIENTISTS SCARED OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT?

    Vero nome: B.1.351

    Quando e dove è stato scoperto?

    Gli scienziati l'hanno notato per la prima volta a dicembre 2020 che la variante, denominato B.1.351, era geneticamente diverso in un modo che potrebbe cambiare il modo in cui agisce.

    È stato raccolto attraverso un campionamento genetico casuale di tamponi presentati da persone risultate positive al virus, ed è stato trovato per la prima volta a Nelson Mandela Bay, intorno a Port Elizabeth.

    What mutations did scientists find?

    There are two key mutations on the South African variant that appear to give it an advantage over older versions of the virus – these are called N501Y e E484K.

    Both are on the spike protein of the virus, which is a part of its outer shell that it uses to stick to cells inside the body, and which the immune system uses as a target.

    Sembrano che il virus si diffonda più velocemente e possono dargli la capacità di scivolare oltre le cellule immunitarie che sono state prodotte in risposta a una precedente infezione oa un vaccino.

    Cosa fa N501Y?

    N501Y modifica il picco in un modo che lo rende migliore nel legarsi alle cellule all'interno del corpo.

    Ciò significa che i virus hanno una percentuale di successo maggiore quando cercano di entrare nelle cellule quando entrano nel corpo, il che significa che è più contagioso e più veloce da diffondere.

    Ciò corrisponde a un aumento del tasso R del virus, il che significa che ogni persona infetta lo trasmette a più altri.

    N501Y si trova anche nella variante Kent trovata in Inghilterra, e le due varianti brasiliane di preoccupazione - P.1. e P.2.

    Cosa fa E484K?

    The E484K mutation found on the South African variant is more concerning because it tampers with the way immune cells latch onto the virus and destroy it.

    Antibodies – substances made by the immune system – appear to be less able to recognise and attack viruses with the E484K mutation if they were made in response to a version of the virus that didn’t have the mutation.

    Antibodies are extremely specific and can be outwitted by a virus that changes radically, even if it is essentially the same virus.

    South African academics found that 48 per cent of blood samples from people who had been infected in the past did not show an immune response to the new variant. One researcher said it was ‘clear that we have a problem’.

    Vaccine makers, però, have tried to reassure the public that their vaccines will still work well and will only be made slightly less effective by the variant.

    How many people in the UK have been infected with the variant?

    Almeno 217 Brits have been infected with this variant, according to Public Health England’s random sampling.

    The number is likely to be far higher, però, because PHE has only picked up these cases by randomly scanning the genetics of around 15% of all positive Covid tests in the UK.

    Where else has it been found?

    Secondo il PANGO Lineages sito web, the variant has been officially recorded in 31 other countries worldwide.

    The UK has had the second highest number of cases after South Africa itself.

    Will vaccines still work against the variant?

    Finora, Pfizer e Moderna’s jabs appear only slightly less effective against the South African variant.

    Studies into how well Oxford University/AstraZeneca‘s jab will work against the South African strain are still ongoing. A small study of young people found it offered them minimal protection against mild coronavirus, although this is not the point of the vaccine, which is intended to prevent severe illness and death.

    Johnson & Johnson actually trialled its jab in South Africa while the variant was circulating and confirmed that it blocked 57 per cent of coronavirus infections in South Africa, which meets the World Health Organization’s 50 per cent efficacy threshold.

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